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What is the Future of Food Processing and Packaging?
Food processing and packaging enterprises have started to adopt the latest technologies, with the aim that the industry will experience significant growth and investment attention this year and beyond.
FREMONT, CA: It is said that packaging alone can change consumer preferences around the food and beverage purchases. At present, consumers drive changes in packaging. Enhanced travel, busier lifestyles, and revised information around health and nutrition have improved demand for easygoing yet healthy foods, convenience foods, single-serve options, and sometimes, completely new foods.
Varied equipment is so significant that for the first time, many packagers of food and beverage now prioritize shorter changeover times over speed of throughout in machine-design selection. As much product as fast as possible is taking a backseat to as many different products as possible from the same piece of equipment.
With strict health and safety regulations, food and beverage processors and the organizations asked with packaging food for retail typically limited robotic use to place the packaged goods on a pallet before shipping out the to the other enterprises. However, as robot manufacturers are enhancing the developing robots suitable not only for handling unpacked goods but also for the following washdown machinery that must undergo to maintain a bacteria-free environment safe for food and beverage. Cleanable robots physically able to handle food and beverage products are creating new opportunities for the direct and indirect handling of food and beverage.
With capital cost a constant concern, packaging equipment needs to produce a wide variety of sizes, shapes, portions, and styles, while accommodating single-serve, multi-serve, and bulk packaging for different retailers. This enables flexibility in packaging machinery as the top trend in packaging in 2019 and going forward.
Since the point of sale is on a digital device rather than in-store, the consumer replaces the retailer as the focal point of the supply chain, requiring a far more complicated process to deliver packaged food products. On a retail shelf, a package may have been handled a dozen times, while a product in the e-commerce channel will likely see between 20 and 30 touches before it reaches the consumer. Online shopping flips the packaging model on its head as primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging now takes on differing levels of importance.