Let's look at five impactful long-term trends in the food industry: supply chain adaptability. Automation, Robotics and Industry 4.0. In fact, the average annual growth of beverage launches with plant-based foods (26%) increased by 36% compared to last year. Right now, less than 1 in 5 global consumers are looking for plant-based alternatives because they perceive that the taste is better.
This represents an enormous opportunity for brands that choose to partner with ingredient companies that offer flavor solutions specifically formulated for use in plant-based applications. According to market research firms Nielsen and Spins, as stated on the Good Food Institute website, the current market value of plant-based foods is worth a staggering $4.1 billion. In addition, technologies such as blockchain will continue to gain popularity as more food companies join this trend. Investing time, money and effort in trends that are only fleeting is a sure way to take risks, and therefore, knowing which trends are actually paying off is the best way to see an increase in revenues.
This mindful eating trend is driven by consumers' desire to reduce unethical and unsustainable food practices, from packaging to the food itself, and to increase organic and environmentally responsible products. As more managers realize the benefits of blockchain in the food industry, all members of the food supply chain will take advantage of this technology. As these new processes expand, specialists will work with customers to transform existing batch processes into efficient continuous processes and bring their strong expertise in conventional food sciences to this new technology. However, labor shortages, inflation and supply chain problems have made automation a priority for other sectors of the food industry, such as food processing, which are among the last to adopt automation.
Waste reduction initiatives such as these allow food companies to consistently convert food waste from a loss to a profit. As consumers continue to demand a greater desire for speed, quality service and good prices, technological advances and new food service models are flourishing in the food and beverage industry. At the start of COVID-19, the restaurant sector collapsed and, in many cases, retail trade boomed due to the decline in demand for food normally supplied to restaurants and the increase in demand from grocery stores. Food manufacturers and their food scientists will be challenged to innovate to meet consumer demand for healthier and tastier products.
Food manufacturers can ride this wave by adding exotic flavors and ingredients to well-known products and using global trends to influence local products.