In any market, trends and preferences constantly change. Consumer habits fluctuate and opinions can switch within seconds. That’s why it’s pertinent that businesses know how to adapt to market shifts. Technology is a major player for helping companies analyze consumer behavior and improve customer experiences. However, when it comes to food and dining, technology isn’t always top of mind. But true to most industries, the “behind the scenes” technology can be a game-changer for food-focused businesses.
As technology continues to advance, businesses need to ensure that their machinery is up to date in order to increase efficiency. The decisions surrounding technology within a company can impact financial success and customer experiences. In previous articles, we’ve touched upon technology in grocery stores and QSRs. In this article, we will discuss the different types of technologies that have transformed the food industry more broadly.
Bioinformatics allows companies to understand the connections between ingredients and the effects they may have on human health. Bioinformatics has already been implemented in different industries, predominantly in pharmaceutical applications. The science behind bioinformatics is pretty complicated, but here’s a simple breakdown of how it has been used within the food industry.
Companies that produce and process food may use bioinformatics to predict and assess the desired and undesired effects of microorganisms on food. Bioinformatics applies the study of gene structure and mapping, also known as genomics and proteomics, to meet requirements in food production and food processing. Bioinformatics also aids in improving the quality and nutritive value of food sources.
The data and analyses that businesses can glean from bioinformatics contribute to a better understanding of the goods that businesses are producing. By understanding the components of food and how these ingredients can impact consumers, businesses can refine their operations and consider adjusting their offerings. This data also allows businesses to be more transparent with customers and empower consumers with accurate, detailed information for purchasing decisions. Fully understanding how bioinformatics operates may be difficult at first, but it can lead to health impacts for consumers and valuable data for businesses.
Automation has revolutionized many businesses beyond the food industry. Not only has automation reduced work time and increased productivity, but it has also contributed to enhanced customer experiences. Specific to the food industry, removing pen and paper from the equation, such as with Squadle’s digital checklists, has increased efficiency and promotes a more sustainable work environment. Implementing machines into back-of-house operations ensures quality and affordability by driving down the costs of keeping food fresh.
Robotic machines also help to eliminate safety issues and risks for employees in the food industry. For example, butchering meat is labor-intensive, and the process can be made safer through machinery, which helps to eliminate potential work injuries.
Examples of technology-based machinery that have recently grown in popularity include 3D printing and drones. Restaurants have started implementing 3D printers to print soft foods for people who may have trouble eating hard foods or have dysphagia, a swallowing disorder that affects around 8% of the world’s population. Meanwhile, drones are utilized for precision agriculture, where they can more efficiently locate and identify diseased or damaged crops.
Many companies have started using different technologies to “go green.” Now more than ever, consumers pay attention to labels and actively seek out healthy and sustainable goods. Robots and automated operations have enabled companies within the food industry to find alternatives to plastics through environmentally-conscious packaging materials.
Instead of defaulting to plastic, companies within the food industry are utilizing technology to create edible packaging, micro packaging, and even bacteria-fighting packaging. In our previous articles, we’ve discussed the negative consequences of plastic usage in grocery stores and QSRs, along with other ways businesses have begun implementing sustainable practices.
By using technology to create or find alternatives to plastic packaging, you can greatly reduce your company’s ecological footprint. Even taking the initial step into considering alternate options is a step in the right direction.
Understanding how technology will advance, adjust to different trends, and respond to consumer behavior is crucial to running a forward-thinking business.
Employing technology to your advantage, whether it be robots or machinery, can cultivate a more efficient and productive work environment.
The three types of technology we highlighted in this article barely scratch the surface of emerging tech’s vast nature. Take the time to research and discover these resources, and ultimately choose the right technology that makes the most sense for your business.