Top 3 Megatrends in the Food Industry – Part 1: Technology
The world is in a period of rapid motion. A variety of megatrends at play today have a direct impact on the future, and challenge the basic fundamentals of how the food industry operates. To take a proper look at food industry trends and anticipate consumption patterns, it’s important to first consider the many socioeconomic factors that contribute to both the food shopping environment, and individual buyer preferences. Factors such as climate change, population growth, demographics, shifts of economic stability, and the evolution of our understanding of wellness are just a few examples of how social and environmental factors have an effect on consumption patterns.
However socioeconomic demographics and environmental factors are only a piece of the puzzle. Technology is constantly moving forward right alongside humanity. The days of traditional farming, production, and shopping are coming to the point where we can no longer carry on as before. It comes down to a decision by food suppliers to either evolve, or move aside.
In this blog series we’ll take a look at the current top trends in the food industry, and identify what to look out for in the near future.
Advances in technology can be seen as one of the most powerful influences in the food industry. Time is a precious commodity these days, we are constantly looking for ways to accomplish tasks at a faster pace and with less mistakes.
From farm to table, we’re seeing new innovations across the board in the industry. Investments are being made on developing new technology for both the industry players, and at home solutions. Smart kitchens, smart grocery stores, smart farming, and vertical farming are just a few hot topics on the table right now. Farmers, producers, online retail shops like amazon, and big box grocery stores alike are recognizing the importance of embracing new technology in order to stay relevant in the changing market.
In the farming sector, Dutch potato farmer Jacob van den Borne has earned the title of the ‘Elon Musk of potatoes’ by revolutionizing the way potato farming is done. He uses soil sensoring, mounted crop sensors, drones, satellite imagery, self-moving tractors and sprayers, and yield monitoring systems to take precision farming to the next level. The huge amount of data collected by his innovative techniques have allowed him to use his land more efficiently, and has earned him the recognition of running the worlds most advanced potato farm.
On the retail end, a company in Finland has developed a smart sensor which goes into food packaging, and is able to detect the ethanol that spoiled food puts out. This freshness data is then stored in the cloud, and then read wirelessly through a mobile device. To take this one step further, smart grocery stores will have the capability of linking the freshness data to an electronic shelf price tag that will automatically reduce the cost when the product is close to the end of its lifecycle.
Technological advances can be seen in all stages of the food industry. All areas of the food supply chain are witnessing massive technological upgrades. In order to stay relevant in the industry, it’s important to identifying both customer trends and global trends affecting the market.