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Food and Beverages | Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Traditional food practices and family dining are beginning to dissipate with the advancement of technology. However, the need and preference for food are comparatively increasing due to which food and beverage sectors are in the middle of various innovations.

FREMONT, CA; The onset of the pandemic kindled the food and beverage industry’s concern over sanitary conditions and food safety. The pandemic also unveiled the power of endurance of new business models and technology-driven services in the industry. This laid foundations for the growth in food trends where food production can become portable, individual, and sustainable in the next three decades. It hurts manufacturing. Alongside, the great resignation leaves no signs of enhancement as the lack of labour affects manufacturing as a whole, with growing large-scale, small-scale and localised manufacturing. Several rules have been implemented in food and beverage manufacturing operations by organisations that oversee food products along with food packing and distribution.

Thus, intending to surpass their condition over the pandemic, the industry is all set for business resilience and food shortages, which might likely continue in the post-pandemic period.

Achieving Business Resilience

With the commencement of the economic shutdown in March 2020, uncertainty among businesses regarding their survival arose. Thus, the major concern post the pandemic period was filling labour gaps as a result of 'great resignation'. Occupational needs have been replaced by the needs of labourers as organisations are lacking employee efficiency.

Demands continue to grow for consumer packaged goods, which aggravates supply chain and labour challenges. A report noted that the demand rose by 8.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, substantiating the rollout of vaccines and the re-opening of countries. As people stayed home for a long period, their sense of work-life balance began to evolve. Thus, from determining material wealth via experience and salary, people have begun to set their priorities for themselves. This, in turn, creates hardships in employing potential labourers.

Hence, the cost of labour keeps on stepping up. Though digitization and automation are developing at a high pace, an entire transition to automation hasn’t taken place yet due to a lack of labour, which in turn is breaking the supply chains.

Growing trends in food production, such as being portable, individual, and sustainable, along with an understanding of society and manufacturers’ goals, help to evaluate technology’s role.

- Easily Accessible- With advancements in the food and beverage sector, food has become portable no matter where people go. The wide spread of people and lessening of family gatherings have evolved food to be much more easily accessible as people eat whenever and wherever they feel like eating.

- Individual Preferences- No more dining practices as a family goes around as a result of technological advancements. This also accounts for people’s individual preferences and allergies evolving to food as an individual’s preference.

- Sustainability- The surge in the population, which will likely continue to grow in the upcoming years, has brought about the significance of sustainability in the food industry.

These fundamental shifts come along with a few other trends where a shift from grocery stores to home delivery is noticed. Though this transition has been prevailing for a long time, customers’ choices over the products are widespread in the present times. This has brought about shifts in food habits where home-cooked meals are replaced by meals prepared by companies. Hence, with opportunities to manufacture increasing, desegregation of food services has been instigated. These trends are sunshine to the new business innovations. Ghost Kitchen is a fine example of a professional meal preparation concept, as this innovation is monumental for its growth along with its assistance to brick-and-mortar businesses.

Globalisation was beneficial to manufacturers because it aided in the processing of stock-keeping units (SKU) for efficient production and purchase of goods. Yet, in terms of small-scale production, manufacturers seek locally sourced raw materials where AI and automation fill the space. With food becoming portable, individual and sustainable, its preferences and means of usage are undergoing modifications. Thus, with enhanced innovation, the food and beverage sectors can accumulate food manufacturing effectively.

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