When it comes to the food and beverage industry, the topic of food production and packaging – and how this can be better improved with the help of technology – is not discussed as often as it should be. However, this has finally changed due to the massive shock that the COVID pandemic has sent through the entire world, affecting each and every industry. To deal with the rising demand and change this has brought about, food and beverage companies have had to quickly rethink how they operate and invest in the digitisation of their operations to support faster production.
The food and beverage industries must also evolve in order to keep up with the demands of a changing world. Currently, this is most evident in the drive towards more eco-friendly businesses practices and the widespread use of digitisation when it comes to food production.
Key Drivers of Digitisation in the Food and Beverage Industry
The first and foremost driver for digitisation is an increasing demand from consumers for healthier food option as well as more eco-friendly ones. With over 18% of consumers surveyed listing the eco-friendliness of products as an important issue when it comes to their food, manufacturers must ensure that they do all they can to meet this demand, or risk losing out their market share to competitors. Digitisation allows companies to minimise product waste by more accurately controlling the packaging process, something which is vital to reducing a product’s carbon footprint.
Digitisation also allows food and drink businesses to make better use of the large amounts of data they already have at their disposal. Overall, around 87% of businesses don’t utilise their data to their full potential using analytics, which means that they are likely missing out on key insights.
As technology underpins everything a business does these days, accelerating digitisation is also key in the food and beverage industry to ensure that manufacturers remain compliant with regulatory standards. This can be achieved through the use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to modernise food safety and hazard perception processes with complete visibility of all products, ensuring that they comply with the relevant standards.
Of course, it would be impossible to discuss key drivers without mentioning automation too, which is one area of food manufacturing that has already greatly changed the industry. From a better understanding of which SKUs are most popular with consumers to automated management control systems, automation improves quality control and profitability.