Alliance Guest Content: 3 ways technology is changing the food and beverage industry 2nd March 2021
3 ways technology is changing the food and beverage industry
GUEST CONTENT: Technology has never been more important. In this article, Mike Hardman from hospitality industry suppliers Alliance Online shares his insight into how it’s set to change the food and beverage industry in 2021.
Food trends are always fast moving but, in recent years, our tastes have changed at an unprecedented pace. The industry has made progress towards catering for intolerances, making things like dairy and gluten-free options more widely available, and has seen a massive shift in dietary attitudes, particularly when it comes to veganism.
What’s more, in 2020, the global pandemic meant that we all changed how we thought about food and sustenance. Fortunately, food technology has been able to keep up with demand and even revolutionise many aspects of the F&B sector.
Below, I’ll take you through three ways technology is set to change the industry for 2021.
New food shopping, cooking, and eating options
The internet has been a huge disruptor for various aspects of the food and beverage industry, from taking our supermarket shopping experiences online, to allowing us to compare and order takeaways through aggregation apps rather than direct from the establishment. 2020 saw an unprecedented rise in demand for recipe subscription boxes and meal kits as the nation went into lockdown, which means that the internet has once again changed the way consumers think about shopping for food.
In 2021, customers will expect their online food ordering experiences to be seamless and, due to competition, companies are turning to the latest technology to offer the fastest and most accurate deliveries possible. From AI personal shopping to grocery picking and packing robots, food shopping is well on its way to becoming an automatic experience.
In addition to streamlined ordering systems, customers can now expect acutely tailored options for their needs when it comes to diet and nutrition. Many companies are now using things like blood analysis and DNA testing to offer their completely personalised meal plans and even recipe boxes and kits to help revolutionise healthy eating.
Catering to new diets
Consumer food trends have drastically altered, from the rise of gluten-free and vegan options to the demand for more refined options when it comes to low calorie meals. Fortunately, there is plenty of food technology available in 2021 that can help F&B businesses appeal to increasingly diverse diets.
Food technology is revolutionising product development. For example, sales of plant-based proteins have been sharply increasing since 2018, a trend that isn’t going away. Constantly improving modelling and profiling systems will allow us to fine tune the flavour, texture, aroma, and nutritional value of meat alternatives for 2021.
Managing sustainability and waste
Thanks to digital systems like management software, social media, and cloud storage, there’s more kinds of data available than ever before, all of which can be utilised by everyone from farmers to grocers in order to control their waste more effectively. For example, collected data is being used to yield the best quality crops, make food production more efficient, review portion sizes, and develop delivery methods that keep foods fresher for longer.
The wealth of data collection methods available also makes it much easier to track the environmental impact of the food production industry, including calculating carbon footprints and rates of plastic pollution. This information can help influence decisions when food and beverage companies look for sustainability angles in order to become greener.
These are just three of the ways that technology is revolutionising the food and beverage industry in 2021. From the way we order, prepare, and eat our food to how much waste we generate, technology is helping to improve our knowledge and experiences.