Top 10 Food Technology Trends 2021 That You Should Know

Food Technology Trends 2021

The food industry is continuously working to predict, shape, and take advantage of the ever-changing customer needs and preferences. While some of the food technology trends 2021 are short-lived, some of them prove to be permanently disruptive. In addition to this dynamic, leaders must take into account the changing safety standards and government regulations. 

1- Alternative Proteins

Both health and environmental concerns have raised the shift among customers to switch to alternative healthy protein sources. This shift makes it the most important food technology trends 2021. Cultured meat or lab-grown meat, micro protein-based foods are the current alternatives at present. These kinds of proteins minimize resource use from the farm to the consumer’s dining table. They also rescue the overall costs as alternative options require health monitoring and marginal dietary requirements. Fermentation and microbiology-led startups are developing sustainable substitutes solutions. Advancements in 3D printing enable food companies to balance the ethical concerns of industrial meat production.

2- Nutraceuticals

Nutraceuticals are products, other than nutrition that are also used as medicine. There is an increasing demand for essential nutrients to lead a healthy lifestyle. The pandemic has made Nutraceuticals one of the top emerging food technology trends in 2021. This is a critical component in steering the demand for nutraceuticals. These include nutritional supplements, functional foods, medicinal foods, probiotics, and postbiotics. Various nutraceuticals provide health benefits against disorders like allergies, diabetes, and immune diseases. 

3- eCommerce

Ecommerce has been in the spotlight in the food and beverages industry. As COVID-19 has pushed the industry for further innovations, food brands utilized digital platforms to offer on-demand delivery services and reach customers through D2C (direct-to-customer) distribution channels. The safety concerns during the pandemic are promoting cloud kitchens that offer only food takeout and deliveries. Along with D2C, brands are focussing on omnichannel distribution to improve customer experience and sales. eCommerce helps food manufacturers to reach their customers better as well as ensure availability.  

4- Personalized Nutrition

The rise in nutrition awareness among the masses is increasing the demand for personalized nutrition choices. Customized nutrition has become the fundamental concept of food technology trends as consumers want to see how tailor-made nutrition options affect their dietary habits. There are personal preferences like sugar & gluten-free diet, vegan, and clean and clean label food products. Advancements like 3D printing allow food manufacturers to provide personalized nutrition. Various tracking devices allow consumers to determine their food habits, health conditions, and the kind of diet they should inculcate in their diet. Food companies know the dietary preferences better of their consumers, thereby improving customer convenience and sales as a whole. 

5- Restaurant Digitization

An enhanced customer experience is achieved with restaurant digitization. It enables smooth operation management. Also, it helps restaurant businesses to gather data stagewise, enabling data-driven decision-making throughout the chain. Moreover, the disruption in the food industry due to COVID-19 has caused a shift in restaurants adopting digital management systems across the supply chain. Restaurants have integrated digital menus, cashless payment methods, and self-service kiosks to reduce direct human-to-human contact. Furthermore, chatbots are the upcoming tools in assisting customers with food orders and any other queries, all in real-time. AI-enabled tools also offer food recommendations to the customers. 

6- Digital Food Management 

AI, real-time monitoring, and analytics enable digital food management seamlessly. Startups develop food management systems to help food producers optimize manufacturing processes and supply chain operations. Restaurant digitization develops consumer behavior and extracts real-time data acquisition on food items. These solutions help food producers understand the market requirements better, thereby reducing losses and effectively managing surplus food. For example, quantum computing helps companies to inspect critical disruptions such as pandemics =, effectively. Marketing intelligence allows companies to optimize marketing strategies and successfully reach relevant audiences, thereby boosting overall sales. 

7- Robotics

Incorporating robotics into the entire chain of operations accelerates efficiency and consistency. Food companies also employ hospitality robots at hotels and restaurants to amp up customer convenience and safety. Robotic chefs fuel the trend of food robotics as a prominent food technology trend. Drones and other food handling robots are efficient replacements for delivery services. They also efficiently help product handling at grocery stores and warehouses. Robotics help in speeding up food production with precise food quality food control. 

8- Food Waste Reduction

Almost a large fraction of the food produced globally is lost or wasted. Therefore, reducing food wastage is necessary for a food and beverage company. Entrepreneurs and large corporations focus on reducing food wastage to minimize environmental footprint and save unnecessary costs. Monitoring solutions help food producers, restaurants to decrease their food waste. Companies are reprocessing and reusing food waste to generate value and surge their reach to consumers who are interested in sustainability. Thus, there is a paradigm shift from food waste reduction to zero waste in food manufacturing.

9- Transparency & Safety

Nowadays customers are more thoughtful about the quality of food products they buy. Food safety is a significant concern for many. With smart labels and food grading devices available to customers, it is easy for them to make a well-informed decision before buying food items. Also, developments in blockchain and real-time food monitoring using IoT services enable food companies to provide end-to-end food traceability. With scalable monitoring and cost-effective options, food companies can advance the traceability and transparency of products. This creates trust between producers and consumers. 

10- Premiumization shaping the Beverage Industry

Over recent years, the entire food and beverage industry has seen a demand trend in the direction of premium products. An increased focus on flavor, high-quality ingredients, and more appealing packaging premiumization greatly impact the type of products shoppers are seeking out. From alcoholic drinks to soft drinks, there has always been an appetite for premium beverages. With millennials making new demands, the general consensus is that younger consumers are the key drivers of premiumization. Premium drinks require premium labels, corks, and bottle caps to match alongside the idea. Fine-tuning the bottle or a can’s volume plays a big role with many shoppers looking to purchase premium beverages but in small quantities. 

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