Food and Beverage Industry Trends

The food and beverage industry can change quickly, so industry leaders and brands must keep pace with – or get a step ahead of – the prevailing trends to remain competitive. On average, it takes only one to two years for a new product to trend, and thanks to the internet and social media, that timeline is quickly shrinking.

Fads vs. Trends

But, it’s important to know the difference between a fad and a trend. Whereas a fad is unpredictable, comes on quickly, and dies even faster, a trend is predictable, backed by statistics, and explainable. One example of a trend is how sugary soda sales have declined over the last few years due to an uptick in health concerns, replaced by functional beverages like vitamin water and sports drinks.

To become a trend in the food and beverage industry, a brand or product must attract a large customer base, align with other emerging trends, and be easy for consumers to adopt and experience its benefits.

Products That Trend

Products that trend tend to be innovative, address world problems, and attract a positive social media response. For instance, items that are easy on the environment are trending, such as those made from recycled or compostable materials.

Some products trend faster and longer because they have scientific or medical backing. Examples include healthy options like plant-based foods and non-alcoholic beverages. Other factors that encourage trends are brands with robust supply chains that can meet consumer demand, and fewer industry regulations surrounding a new product launch.

Here are eight upcoming trends to pay attention to:

  1. Convenience: Today’s time-stressed consumers want to shop for food and beverages anywhere, anytime, and be able to make nutritious meals that are easier and faster to put on the table.
  2. Wellness: Whether mental or physical, consumers want more healthy and functional food choices with natural, recognizable ingredients that support mental health, slow the aging process, and strengthen the immune system.
  3. Transparency: Shoppers want to know what’s in their food and beverages, and where their food is sourced from. They want brands that focus on food safety, and are available in biodegradable packaging. Consumers increasingly care about fair trade practices, sustainable farming, and supporting the planet’s resources.
  4. Sustainability: People want to consume more plant-based foods with less processing and additives for better health, to promote animal welfare, and to protect the planet.
  5. Food Waste Reduction: The global food and beverage industry is seriously pushing to minimize by-products, compost organic waste, recycle processing and packaging materials, and save energy and water. The three Rs of waste management – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – can help food manufacturers reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
  6. Food Exploration: Consumers want to support their local businesses and farmers, but they also wish to explore new, unusual, and exotic flavors and dishes from around the globe.
  7. Supplements: Today, many people want to concentrate more on health and wellness and are turning to supplements for themselves, their families, and their pets.
  8. Technology: The food and beverage industry is in the thick of the fourth industrial revolution, called Industry 4.0. It means having to adopt new technologies to keep pace with market changes, respond to customer demands, and stay competitive. Industry leaders are actively seeking ways to improve their back-end operations while remaining responsive to partner, customer, and stakeholder needs.

Trend #1: Convenience

Omnichannel Shopping

The future of grocery shopping is omnichannel, where grocers use a mix of channels – apps, online, in-store – to sell to customers. Buy online, pick-up in store – also known as click and collect – which combines channels, is a common example. More than half of American consumers expect grocery stores to provide coupons and personalized offers, no matter how they shop. Growing online grocery demands require omnichannel grocers to invest in efficient climate-controlled delivery options so customers can receive the same quality and quantity of goods as if they had shopped in-store. As with other sections of retail, an omnichannel approach is the best way to keep up with customers who prefer various shopping experiences.

Processed Food

A continuing consumer trend in the convenience category is processed foods, thanks in large part to growing demand for healthy snacks such as keto bars and protein drinks. Ready-to-eat foods make meals faster and easier to prepare, but today’s consumers want them to contain more natural ingredients and fewer additives to promote healthy lifestyles.

Food Delivery

The pandemic compelled many restaurants to provide takeout or delivery, and this trend continued as the pandemic receded. The food delivery market is mainly driven by the rising use of smartphones and the internet, along with the growing trend of food delivery mobile apps worldwide. A recent study from PYMENTS revealed that online food ordering is growing, with the top reason being convenience. However, one major challenge is the fees associated with delivery services can eat into profits.

In some cases, restaurants have had to raise prices, charge extra fees, or reduce portion sizes to offset the costs charged by delivery platforms. Some businesses have invested in their own delivery infrastructure, which can be expensive but profitable in the long term. The increase in fuel prices has also affected the food delivery market, forcing many stores to charge additional fees to cover fueling their delivery fleets.

Meal Kits

The popularity of subscription meal kits continues to grow – and for good reason. For consumers, they are convenient, save time and effort, and limit food waste. Meal kits also make food preparation easier. They are healthier and less expensive than take-out foods, and they empower cooks to create meals they may have been reluctant to prepare themselves from scratch. For meal kit suppliers, consumer demand is enormous and still expanding. Additionally, meal subscription services provide a reliable revenue stream, help create loyal customers, and reduce marketing costs.

Snacks as Meals

Busy lifestyles, stressful times, and economic challenges have led to more people replacing meals with snacks. More than half the consumers surveyed said they ate snacks due to convenience. According to 84.51, a retail data science company, 89% of shoppers buy their snack foods from grocery stores, 68% get them from mass retailers, 32% buy them at club stores, and 21% buy them online. And 70% of people snack on fruit, followed by potato chips at 62%.

Convenient Packaging

Convenient packaging features such as easy reclosable lids, tear-off tops, and resealable covers all have mass appeal. More packaging companies are also adopting eco-friendly solutions, giving consumers the added satisfaction of doing their part to protect the planet.

Trend #2: Wellness

Healthier Snack Options

The demand for healthy snacks continues to grow as consumers become more health-conscious and want healthier snack choices. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global snack foods product market is expected to reach $838 billion by 2029 reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% during the forecast period. An International Food Information Council Foundation survey found that 65% of consumers want snacks with added health benefits. The food and beverage industry is addressing this trend by producing nutritious snacks, such as vegan, plant-based, organic, and gluten-free options or snacks with added protein or fiber.

Mindful Consumption

Prominent among many emerging health trends is a focus on mindful food consumption. Whether knowing where food comes from or how it affects the body, people are thinking before eating. Being more aware of what you’re eating also includes considering ingredient and product sourcing, transport, sustainability, reduced food waste, and animal welfare.

Meat-Free Mimics

A large variety of meat alternatives is available in supermarkets and restaurants, from meat-free burgers to sausages, nuggets, deli items, and even seafood. Specialist counters dedicated to meat alternatives could become more commonplace soon.

According to the International Food Information Council, two-thirds of Americans report having eaten plant-based meat alternatives. Although most of these people aren’t vegetarians, they want to reduce their animal product consumption. This trend, known as reducetarianism, is gaining popularity. Allied Market Research predicts that the global meat substitute market will reach more than $11.2 billion by 2030, reflecting a CAGR of 7.6%. In addition, consumers are buying more soybean-based ingredients, such as tofu and tempeh, which work well as meat alternatives. Both are packed with protein and can substitute meat in most dishes.

Clean Label

Another trend fueled by the awareness of healthy eating is the demand for “clean label” products free of additives, artificial flavors and colors, and artificial preservatives. As a result, many food manufacturers increasingly use natural ingredients and have reduced their use of artificial colors and flavors.

Alcohol-Free and Low-Alcohol Beverages (No-Lo)

Millennials and Gen Zers have embraced the sober-curious culture, making sobriety more popular and normal. As a result, a major trend has started, from alcohol-free spirits, wine, and beer, to fancy sparkling water that can be served in “mocktails.” Limiting alcohol has obvious health benefits, including decreasing the incidence of many physical and mental health diseases, and driving accidents.

Functional Foods and Beverages

The increased demand for functional foods and beverages that provide health benefits beyond basic nutritional needs continues. Many people seek specialized drinks to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy balance. To capitalize on this segment, companies are introducing plant-based, organic, and fortified beverages, such as functional juices and water, with extra health benefits, such as hydration, weight management, and improved digestion. The latest fortified beverage trend is probiotic water, which provides immune support and collagen and protein water for health support.

Immune-Boosting Foods

According to the market research firm FMCG Gurus, seven in 10 global consumers have changed their diet and lifestyle to improve their immunity. In response to this growing awareness, immune-boosting foods and beverages are everywhere. Even products that were mainstays for years are modifying their packaging to call out potential immune-boosting ingredients or nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics.

Organic Foods and Beverages

The organic and whole foods market is booming due to greater consciousness about sustainability and healthy living. Once limited to a small section of the produce department, organic products in most grocery stores have expanded beyond fruit and vegetables. This trend has spread to the meat section, offering grass-fed, free-range, and hormone-free choices. Nearly every aisle features organic foods and beverages, as well as organic supplements, personal care, and chemical-free household cleaning products. Research firm BlueWeave Consulting estimates that the U.S. organic food market will expand at a CAGR of 8.7%, reaching $95.1 billion by the end of 2027.

Low-Calorie, Low-Sugar, Low-Fat, and Light Foods

The low-calorie, low-fat, and light food trends were influenced mainly by urbanization, increased obesity, and chronic diseases. This food and beverage industry segment is growing. Maximize Market Research believes the low-calorie food market revenue will grow at a CAGR of 6.2% over the next several years to reach nearly $18 billion in 2029.

Health experts have linked excessive sugar consumption to issues such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other risk factors for heart disease. Many of the biggest diet trends of the last few decades, including Atkins, keto, and paleo, center on cutting down on sugar and carbs and are driving the prevalence of sugar substitutes. For food and beverage brands, there is an opportunity for low- or no-calorie options, especially in the beverage space. Clear and prominent labels to promote low-sugar products appeal to consumers seeking to reduce their sugar consumption. State and local taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are being proposed or are already in place in a growing number of states and localities in the United States, further dampening demand.


“Free-from” foods are simply foods made without certain ingredients such as gluten, dairy, casein, or nuts. This makes these foods suitable for people who suffer from allergies or intolerances, or have other health needs that require them to avoid certain food components. Free-from foods are also ideal for people on specialty diets – such as vegans who don’t eat dairy.

The Take-Out and Fast-Food Industry

While sometimes not the healthiest, the fast-food industry continues to grow because the demand for take-out food is increasing daily, and there’s no actual substitute yet. When the scientists at Boston University analyzed the menus of 10 popular fast-food chains, they discovered that most fast-food entrées, sides, and desserts contain way more sodium and calories today than in the 1980s and 1990s. Portion sizes have increased as well. And while there may be more menu options, the overall nutritional quality of many fast-food offerings continues under scrutiny.

The SWOT analysis business tool highlights the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats a business will face. One of the largest strengths of fast-food brands is their brand awareness, thanks to heavy doses of advertising. The main weakness is the perception on the part of most consumers that fast food is unhealthy, which prevents many people from consuming it, which weighs on revenue. The opportunity is that many fast-food brands can market their products via social media, increasing demand and profit margins. The biggest threat in the fast-food industry is heavy competition – with other brands and, increasingly, other healthier options.


Confectionery is a broad term that encompasses a variety of sugary treats, including chocolates, candies, gum, and other sweets. One factor driving the confectionery market is an increasing demand for chocolate products. The category also benefits from the growing trend toward healthy snacking by introducing more nutritious options, such as organic, low-sugar, and gluten-free products. Another trend is the growth of gourmet and premium products, which consumers are willing to pay more for. This trend has led to the creation of a wide range of artisanal and superior confectionery products, such as gourmet candies, hand-crafted chocolates, and organic and fair-trade products.

One challenge for the confectionery market is increasing competition from other snack categories, such as seeds, nuts, and fruits. These snacks are often marketed as healthier alternatives to traditional confectionery products, making it difficult for the industry to compete. Another challenge is consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their food choices. Still, many confectionery companies are responding to this trend by introducing eco-friendly packaging and sourcing ingredients from sustainable sources.

Frozen Foods

Once considered unhealthy and packed with preservatives, fat, and sodium, the frozen food market has in recent years focused on health and sustainability. Many plant-based and meat-alternative products have increased frozen food sales. Some frozen food trends include alternative meats, such as cultivated, lab-grown, or cultured meat and seafood from animal cells. Cultivated meat could eliminate animal emissions and reduce food waste. Also, it addresses the ethical concern of killing live animals for consumption.

Trend #3: Transparency

Food Transparency

Today’s health-conscious consumers want to know where their food is sourced, and they’re becoming savvy about labeling practices and marketing messages that conveniently omit essential information. For example, while a manufacturer may state on its label that a food product is manufactured in the United States, they may have imported the ingredients from other countries, which may not uphold the strict food safety regulations established in America.

QR Codes and RFID Tags

Food and beverage producers can add transparency by incorporating high-tech solutions into their packaging, like QR codes and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which make it easy for consumers to learn more about their favorite products. Technology also provides alternative marketing capabilities, such as augmented reality and mobile syncing.

Responsible Sourcing

Responsible sourcing, also called supply chain responsibility, is a voluntary commitment by businesses to consider environmental and social issues when interacting with suppliers. Food and beverage producers know that consumers want to know exactly how their food got from the farm to their plate. And people now prefer ethically sourced ingredients, particularly when it comes to meat and dairy products.

Food Safety

Food safety and regulatory compliance are paramount for both consumers and food and beverage professionals. In the United States, four agencies enact and carry out industry regulations, including The Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

In the United States, one in six people suffers from foodborne illness each year, and more than a hundred thousand are hospitalized annually. Food safety laws are intended to implement and monitor effective measures to prevent contamination and protect public health. The FDA establishes science-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables to minimize the risk of serious illnesses or death. Food companies are also held accountable for preventing contamination, a significant milestone in modernizing the food safety system.

Business Ethics

Thanks to shrinkflation and skimpflation, consumers are paying the same price for less product. Shrinkflation, or package downsizing, is when a product shrinks in weight, size, or quantity. Skimpflation is when an item is reformulated with less costly ingredients or watered down so consumers must use twice as much. Cough syrup, for example. Although the prices usually remain the same in both cases, today’s savvy consumers are acutely aware of the deceptive differences.

According to the market research company Morning Consult, 64% of adults in the United States are worried about shrinkflation, and 54% have seen, read, or heard something about it. Morning Consult reports that 48% of consumers have changed brands to avoid shrinkflation at the grocery store, and 49% switched to a generic brand.

A UK Institute of Business Ethics report suggests a connection between business ethics and profitability. Its report concludes “there is strong indicative evidence that large UK companies with codes of business ethics/conduct produced an above-average performance when measured against a similar group without codes.”

Some noteworthy companies are averse to giving customers less for their money and hoping they won’t notice. Domino’s Pizza recently announced it would provide customers with 8 instead of 10 chicken wings for $7.99. This announcement may have cost them some business, but it did not cost them the reputation of their brand. In the long run, it is business ethics that means more.

Trend #4: Sustainability

Sustainability Terms

Environmentally friendly processes, also called eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green, are sustainability terms referring to goods and services, regulations, policies, and guidelines that claim to cause reduced, minimal, or no harm to the environment or the earth’s ecosystems.

Upcycling and Renewable Foods

Another modern, environmentally friendly trend is making food from ingredients that would have otherwise been thrown out, which both salvages waste and protects the environment. Upcycling includes creating snacks, drinks, salads, soups, desserts, sauces, and more from unused or surplus food. Many consumers choose renewable food sources like grains, legumes, algae, and seaweed. Foods that help reduce waste are also on trend, including buying scarred and misshapen fruits and vegetables that aren’t perfect in appearance but still taste delicious.

Meat Products and Climate Impact

People have always debated the topic of animal welfare and the ethics surrounding eating meat products. To produce lower-priced meat and dairy products, some farmers limit animal behavior and activity, affecting the animal’s health and quality of life. Most consumers are aware of the adverse effects of animal-based diets on the world and the positive impact going vegan can have. An estimated eight billion animals are slaughtered annually, and animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction.

Purposeful Packaging

Consumers are concerned about the environment and now opt for brands that offer purposeful packaging. Sustainable food and beverage containers make it easy to recycle or compost, keeping waste out of landfills and oceans. Food and beverage manufacturers can sell cardboard, clean plastic, metal, and paper to recyclers. Packaging can be separated in-house and recovered using jet shredder waste technologies that separate film, cartons, and foodstuffs that can be recycled separately. Cardboard boxes can also be reused to temporarily store chip packages before putting them into retail distribution boxes.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

Environmental sustainability encourages eco-friendly lifestyles, and most consumers want to associate with brands that use eco-friendly or green packaging. Businesses are moving away from materials such as plastic and styrofoam and opting for biodegradable or compostable packaging such as cardboard, bamboo, and bioplastic. Some companies are using 3D printing machines to create cost-effective, eco-friendly packing materials.

Biodegradable means an item can decompose into its base elements through microbial activity over time. Compostable describes a material’s ability to biodegrade quickly in a controlled composting environment. Zion Market Research put the sustainable packaging market at $358 billion by 2028, assuming a CAGR of approximately 5.10% over the forecast period.

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture, also called regenerative farming, is the process of restoring degraded soils using ecological methods like no-till planting, adaptive grazing, and no or less use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Regenerative agriculture works with nature instead of against it by reversing degradation and making the soil healthier.

Trend #5: Food Waste Reduction

Global Food Waste

One of the United Nation’s top priorities is to halve global food waste by 2030. The World Food Programme reports that one-third of the food grown and produced for human consumption globally is lost or wasted. Global food waste totals about 1.3 billion tons annually, worth approximately $1 trillion. In developing countries, 40% of these losses occur during processing and post-harvest stages.

Over 40% of food loss in industrialized countries occurs in the consumer and retail sectors. Consumers in industrialized countries are becoming more mindful of food waste. In a recent Deloitte survey, more than seven in 10 said they considered how much food they throw away when making a purchase decision.

Agricultural Food Waste

The World Food Programme is reducing agricultural food waste by increasing access to local markets, sourcing school meals with locally grown crops, and working with communities to build better roads and storage facilities.

Food Waste as a Biodegradable Plastic Solution

Plastic pollution is a significant problem facing the world today. A rising Canadian technology company, Genecis, is creating high-performance bioplastics out of previously valueless food waste. The company aims to lead in the drive toward a circular economy by recycling food waste into high-performance bioplastics, which can quickly degrade. It has already formed partnerships with leading brands such as French food services and facilities management firm Sodexo.

Food Waste Reduction

According to FMI, The Food Industry Association, it is collaborating with the Consumer Brands Association and the National Restaurant Association on reducing food waste through the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) across the food industry. In addition, the FWRA is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration to improve interagency coordination to reduce food waste and loss.

Food Waste Management

Landfills are the least favorable disposal option for waste generated by food and beverage producers worldwide. Landfills release methane, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and trace amounts of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and non-methane organic compounds, which contribute to climate change and create smog if uncontrolled.

Sustainable, effective, and profitable waste management options include making animal feed, composting to create nutrient-rich fertilizer, anaerobic digestion to produce energy-rich biogas, recycling/reusing waste for utilization by other industries, and feeding surplus food to needy people. Food and beverage businesses can use smart waste management systems to obtain insights into the disposal of food waste and other materials to help them manage their resources more efficiently.


Reductionism refers to taking steps to reduce waste in the food industry. Reducing carbon emissions has become a primary goal for many restaurant brands as consumers and stakeholders push for eco-friendlier operations. Some ways they are reducing include repurposing unsold food into soups, salads, and desserts for “grab and go” products.

Another approach is to improve inventory management to lower food spoilage. For example, McDonald’s has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Panera Bread highlights its low-carbon menu options as part of its sustainability efforts. At the same time, the Just Salad chain has taken this initiative a step further by labeling each menu item with its respective carbon footprint.

Trend #6: Food Exploration

Global Flavors

The internet has connected the globe like never before, exposing consumers to many other cultures, and the best way to experience a new culture is to sample its food. Worldwide dishes, ingredients, and recipes are easy to find and order online. Food tourism, often called culinary travel, is at an all-time high. International cuisine can also be found by visiting street vendors, a great way to try new foods at a low cost while enjoying the local sights.

Experiential Dining

Outdoor dining, beer gardens, specialty meals from grocers, and limited menu offerings help patrons go beyond microwave meals. A big trend is guided food walking tours, also called foodie tours, where people visit restaurants to try the local fare and international dishes while exploring new places and getting some exercise – all at the same time.

The U.S.–European Food and Beverage Market

European strategic buyers have become increasingly active in U.S. food and beverage transactions. One reason is that, relative to Europe, the U.S. food and beverage sector is a homogeneous market, which makes it a large and attractive single market for European companies to pursue. In addition, U.S. and European consumers have similar tastes and, to some extent, eating habits.


Termed locally sourced, farm fresh, and farm-to-fork, farm-to-table means the food on the table was sourced directly from a specific farm instead of a store, wholesaler, or distributor. Because it is not a regulated phrase, anyone who thinks their food offerings fit the definition can mistakenly use it, including retail and grocery stores. Authentic farm-to-table restaurants establish close relationships with farms and buy directly from them.

The best way to know if something labeled farm-to-table is genuine is to ask for the name of the farm the food was sourced from. An interesting type of farm-to-table is an Outstanding in the Field event, which is often a local or seasonal meal or fundraiser where the farmer provides a farm tour, describing the methods they used to raise the livestock, poultry, fruits, and vegetables.

Zero-Kilometer Eating

The French collective Initiative et Développment Citoyen defines zero-kilometer food as any food item or produce that travels less than 100 kilometers, or 62 miles. Zero-kilometer eating takes eating locally to another level, or rather, to the closest mile. Although this concept may sound similar to the farm-to-table movement, there’s a difference because the focus remains on the entire food ecosystem, not just the farm.

While farm-to-table has to do with the farm providing produce and products to the specific restaurant, zero-kilometer eating is a community approach. Every ingredient comes from within a small radius, which benefits the local economy, farmers, and other food producers. Also, zero-kilometer eating doesn’t disrupt the local supply chain and has less environmental impact.

Trend #7: Supplements

Supplements for Humans

The AMA Journal of Ethics reports that over half of U.S. adults consume dietary supplement products. A demand analysis by Zion Market Research of the global dietary supplements market indicated that spending on those products will grow to about $308 billion by 2028, reflecting a CAGR of approximately 5.9%.

Relaxation Supplements for Stress

The pandemic exacerbated the level of stress consumers face, and their attention to emotional well-being and support has accelerated in the ever-changing post-Covid era. As a result, many people rely on vitamins and supplements to relax and improve their mental health.

Supplements for Pets

Pet owners tend to be reliable, steady customers because they want their pets to have the best of everything. The U.S. pet supplements market accelerated during the pandemic as pet ownership surged and a greater focus was placed on health and wellness for both humans and pets. While supplements once were mainly intended for older pets with ailments such as joint pain, they are increasingly being given throughout their life cycle to improve health and wellness. New CBD treatments for anxiety are just one example.

Supplement companies will offer more types of health and nutrition products to support many more years of a pet’s life, substantially growing the pet supplement market. Additionally, supply chain and ingredient transparency has become increasingly important for pet supplement brands, similar to what the human supplements market experienced several years ago.

Trend #8: Technology

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 creates opportunities for improvement in the production line and how food manufacturers serve the end customer using digital technologies, such as data analytics, cloud computing, robotics, and artificial intelligence. The main goal of Industry 4.0 is to create a strongly connected and streamlined manufacturing process that can quickly adapt to the changing market, enhance food safety, increase productivity, decrease energy consumption, and reduce food waste.

One example is using radio frequency identification (RFID) to trace food from its source throughout the production phase and to its final destination to help businesses identify areas that need improvement. Also, sensors on food packaging can send data to manufacturers to indicate if it was mishandled or exposed to the wrong temperature. Sensors can also monitor equipment and send alerts when it’s time for repairs or maintenance.

Internet of Things

In 1999, Kevin Ashton, a 30-year-old, London-based computer scientist for Procter & Gamble, coined the phrase “Internet of Things” to describe how RFID tags can make supply chains more efficient. The Internet of Things (IoT) has since become a blanket term for network-enabled devices, except for traditional computers like servers and laptops. IoT includes Wi-Fi, near-field communication (NFC), and Bluetooth connections. It also includes smart appliances, home security systems, wearable technology, routers, and smart speaker devices.

The IoT helps streamline production processes, saving time, manpower, and money. Connected sensors and cameras on manufacturing lines aid in quality control, machine maintenance, and safety via real-time monitoring. Robotic arms with AI-powered cameras recognize defective items faster than manual inspection systems, minimizing waste in the production process. Predictive analytics systems provide insights into potential process disruptions, helping companies make improvements and reduce downtime. The global IoT market is expected to reach a value of nearly $2.5 trillion by 2029, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 26.4%, according to Fortune Business Insights.


A wide range of technologies is emerging to improve farming practices, increase yield, automate processes, improve sustainability, and share information across the supply chain. These technologies include robots, drones, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology to help growers be more profitable, efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly.


Smart technologies can ensure that brands stay safe and compliant. Innovative tech tools such as IoT-connected sensors in refrigeration systems help managers and workers maintain safe temperatures. Smart tech can also examine ingredients, count inventory, and facilitate delivery distribution. With just a few clicks, digital tools like mobile apps allow companies to create and share checklists, which track and store food safety audits, rather than using outdated paper records. They can also store automatic timestamps to track when updates and key events take place.


Robotic machines help line workers and perform some of the same functions. Because they can perform these jobs faster and safer, they’re often used to reduce risk to human workers. For instance, companies can use robotic butchers to handle intricate cuts of meat in factories, freeing up team members to work on less risky procedures. You can even find these robots in restaurants, where they prepare food and deliver it to the table, slashing work times and increasing productivity rates.


Automated systems, including manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, can automate many administrative and operational tasks, such as maintenance and food safety activities that can be tedious and time-consuming for staff. Some establishments have implemented online ordering systems to bypass the third-party fees of most take-out and delivery services. Many automated systems include helpful tools like customer loyalty functions, marketing automation, and data analytics that prompt personalized order suggestions.

Artificial Intelligence

Companies now use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict buyer behavior instead of relying on manual reports and forecasts. Food and beverage leaders use inventory management systems to forecast optimal ordering times, reduce food costs, ensure a steady product stream, and prevent critical issues such as delays and surpluses. With AI-powered software, managers can track demand and order supplies accordingly, which saves time and money and prevents overruns.

IT Infrastructure

As food and beverage companies race to adopt the latest technologies, they need an IT infrastructure to keep up. Old or obsolete hardware, software, or systems can reduce ROI and productivity. Businesses must modernize their internal networks and expand their IT capacity by adding robust back-end and customer-facing Wi-Fi networks. They also need an SD-WAN network to improve reliability and application control, as well as cybersecurity software in place to protect sensitive data.