Modern food processing is very interesting in the way it has evolved. While it may not seem like it, the industry has progressed a lot through the years. The food and beverage industry has changed with the times and various developments have changed how people eat. This year will see a lot of those changes coming again as the world recovers from the pandemic. Here are some trends that the industry will be seeing in 2021:
Increased Safety and Cleanliness
The focus of food production has always been cleanliness and safety. For example, when it comes to food packaging, the installation of a high-quality air compressor intake filter that stops particles from entering and mixing with food is usually a requirement for hygiene purposes. But it seems that it will only get a lot stricter. This is due to the pandemic dominating the event of last year. People want to be sure about what they are eating and stay healthy along the way.
Food safety is also a focus. Recent issues like the recall of millions of dollars worth of romaine lettuce because of E. Coli infection. The economic losses and health threats of unsanitary practices have food processors taking further steps to protect the consumers.
When people think of food, they often associate it with handmade dishes made in a restaurant kitchen. But the food industry at large, which focuses on mass production and distribution, is trying to reduce human contact as much as possible. For example, the influence of robotics in food packaging and assembly is quite notable. Bakeries that produce thousands of croissants a day for mass consumption use multiple robots so that these croissants would be picked up and filled with a variety of fillings, without them being even touched by human hands.
It is not just the physical processing of food that can be taken over by machines. Modern software now tracks deliveries and supplies. A supervisor doesn’t have to personally keep track of things. All they have to do is check at a terminal and they would have an idea of the condition and location of everything.
Sustainable and Earth-Friendly
With the concerns about pollution and climate change being a hot topic issue, a lot of food industry companies are moving towards more environmentally-friendly practices. For example, more packaging is becoming recyclable and biodegradable. Plastic was the king of food containers and packaging for years.
Now, several packing alternatives that have zero plastic and are biodegradable are available. Customers can expect these packaging materials to be more common as the years pass. Besides packaging, food-making processes are also getting a bit of a boost. Ingredients that are sustainable like algae and seaweed are becoming more popular.
Additionally, people are more willing to buy imperfect ingredients like dented fruits and the like to avoid any waste. These are then used soups, bread, and other foods that don’t care about appearances.
Plant-Based and Healthy
As for the food itself, a lot of companies are becoming more aware of people wanting healthier foods. A good case in point is the rise of plant-based meals. Vegetarians and vegans welcome this change but it can also be beneficial to those who don’t follow strict diets. Eating something healthy can be difficult for a lot of people. With healthy food now more accessible, then there will be a general improvement of health.
One of the things revealed by the pandemic is the need for longer-lasting foods. Many households ended up stretching their food supply out when the local food sources were not open and their pantry and fridge were full of expiring foods. Food buying during the pandemic moved away from the fresh food aisle of the grocery and to the processed food aisle. Frozen food is also becoming more popular. While it may be a small change in buying habits, this pandemic might get people in the habit of stocking more non-perishables in their homes.
More Information for the Consumer
People are a lot more informed nowadays than they used to be. The internet has opened up a lot of avenues for research and data for the normal consumer. When a shopper goes buying food today, they will be looking closely at the labels. More and more grocery items are adding this information to reassure buyers about the contents of the product.
The food and beverage industry is going to look different with all these changing trends. It will be interesting to see the various products that will come out of the industry as these improvements and trends become more common. For any business in the industry, taking note of these trends should be an important priority.