The advancement in modern technologies, changes in consumer buying behavior and the ravaging global pandemic has impacted the overall Food and Beverage (F&B) space. The industry that promoted the importance of human touch is now forced to rely on systems that would minimize face-to-face interactions.
All the reasons discussed above has allowed digital solutions to make their way into the F&B sector. Technologies like IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and cloud services have allowed the industry to become more data-centric and to focus on increased operational efficiency. Let us see how these technologies are uplifting the food and beverage industry.
The Rise of IoT and Data-driven decision making.
The IoT is already making inroads into the F&B sector. With interconnected sensors at different operational levels, the management is enabled to collect data and make timely decisions. Packages with sensors are used to track inventory levels, plan shipments, and define alternate routes. It also allows you to remotely monitor the containers and get automatic updates about machine maintenance and repairs.
In addition, the data is immensely useful in displaying customized offers based on how the customers have interacted with certain products in the past.
The need to leverage the power of IoT will further increase in the future allowing businesses to transform data into valuable intelligence. As they say, it is one thing to collect data, it’s a different thing to analyze it and make smart decisions. Predicting accurate shelf life to increased monitoring capability and streamlining the overall process, the IoT devices are certainly having a positive impact on the F&B sector.
AI & Robotics
Firmenich recently made the world’s first flavor created solely via artificial intelligence. The company used consumer data and Azure cloud technologies to develop a flavor according to their customer needs. In addition to that, in many industries, AI provides sales forecasts ultimately helping businesses to avoid wastage and cut cost. Talking about Robots, It is reported that the global food robotics market will hit $3 Billion by 2027. We have seen them being used in streamlining packaging and inventory management. Talking specifically about manufacturing, robots are used to lift heavy loads with extreme accuracy and precision
Customer experience and the Rise of Cloud Kitchens
The introduction of online food delivery has disrupted the F&B industry. It is expected that the global online food delivery market will reach $200 billion by 2025. With more people demanding convenience coupled with extended lockdowns due to COVID-19 the tech and F&B industry have really shifted their gears to provide the best possible last-mile delivery solutions.
With access to a wider market and a lesser amount of need to operate high-cost dine-in facilities the restaurant owners are also benefitting from the “eat at home” phenomenon.
The phenomenon of cloud kitchen has also rapidly gained popularity in the recent past. Cloud kitchens, also referred to as ghost kitchens are cooking facilities that cater for online food delivery and takeaways. With recent lockdown across the world, more and more restaurants and home chefs are opting to prepare and deliver their food through cloud kitchens. One of the major advantages of these facility is that it helps restaurant owners to save a huge amount of costs by allowing them to not invest heavily on infrastructure and hire service and support staff. The industry, with over $50 Billion value globally is set to uplift the F&B sector.
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