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Food Tech: Here's What to Expect in 2019

By Food and Beverages | Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The worldwide production and retailing of food have undergone to a radical change. Consequently, in the next decade, the food industry is likely to transform more than it has in the last 50 years. A dramatic change in the way customers connect with food is signaled by the emergence of digital platforms, urban agriculture, DNA-based diets, vertical farming, and food service. These rapid changes are based on macro forces that shape the world’s way of producing, distributing, buying, selling, and consuming food.

In the coming years, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will remain a significant part of the industry. Furthermore, consumers can influence the trends in food technology through their preferences and shopping habits. In the coming years, the number of ghost restaurants, or the restaurants for delivery only, are expected to increase continuously. These restaurants are only available for cooking and supplying food to customers who place orders online. Although orders cannot be picked up directly because of the absence of stores, consumer demand is a significant factor in ghost restaurants. When customers request quicker deliveries, these companies become more automated. Some of the latest innovations also include robots that flip burgers and manage the stove and AI programs that determine which part of the meal should first be cooked and automatically reordered.

Cali Group, a food service technology holding company, is testing different technological innovations at the CaliBurger restaurant in Pasadena, California, including a burger-stripping robot and facial recognition kiosks. Sunnyvale-based Bear Robotics unveiled an autonomous food operator that can be programmed to memorize the layout of a dining room. The device is not meant to replace staff but to provide excellent customer service and communication. Smart ovens continue to multiply and replace a number of kitchen appliances. In one machine, for instance, the June Oven combines a convection oven, dehydrator, air fryer, warming drawer, broiler, slow cooker, and toaster.

From large-scale restaurants to independent cafes, companies collect personal information of a customer and are hungry for more. Companies can collect data on food trends and consumer habits by using AI applications. That will enable these restaurants to extract and use the information to develop better products or modify current items. AI, automation, and robotics are indeed expected to play a crucial role in the food industry. Smaller restaurants will try to compete with larger ones by taking advantage of these technologies. Eventually, leveraging such advanced tech will result in efficient and automated food processing and delivering systems across the world.

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