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Food Chain: 2021 trends, challenges and digitization

What are the trends in the food chain? What are the digitalization strategies that companies in the Food and Beverage sector will pursue in 2021? Let’s see how food and beverage manufacturers are optimizing the food supply chain to increase visibility and safety and ensure resilience and profitability.

Food Industry, state of art and trends 2021

COVID-19 has inevitably changed shopping habits and made consumers more aware of the health and safety in the food chain.

The search for greater transparency is forcing companies in the Food and Beverage industry to satisfy consumers who are attentive to both physical and psychological well-being. In 2021, the food industry has already started to provide clear information and offer authentic products in order to strengthen trust between the consumer and the brand. But how will companies in this industry deal with the new trends? Are digital strategies in place to keep up with the evolution of customer requests? Producers are ready to consider new technologies that offer consumers complete visibility of the food supply chain, from agriculture and production to the procurement of ingredients and product composition. The actions taken will have to take into account the regulations and consumer behavior increasingly oriented towards healthiness and environmental protection. We have identified the emerging trends that will gain ground in the coming year:


Flexible packaging for a more sustainable future in the food chain

The world of packaging is constantly evolving as it has to take into account environmental factors, social changes and new consumer needs. This year we will see an ongoing effort by Food and Beverage manufacturers to find innovative packaging solutions. Recyclable and reusable packaging will allow better preservation of food along the entire food chain and will prove convenient and environmentally friendly. As a result, in 2021, food brands will be increasingly eager to adopt flexible containment solutions to strengthen sustainability and improve the sale of their products.


Tendencies for psychophysical well-being to nourish the body and soul

In recent months, everyone’s attention on coronavirus prevention and protection measures has shifted the focus from nutrition to well-being in general. Consumers are continually looking for food products with ingredients that boost the immune system.
According to the Innova Consumer Survey 2020, six out of ten global consumers are increasingly looking for food and drink products that support their personal health, with one in three saying that concerns about the immune system have increased in 2020 compared to 2019.

With the growth of the functional food and wellness market, F&B brands have rushed to create products that have positive repercussions on the health of consumers and that can offer better cognitive function, an adequate supply of energy that is capable of bringing physical and mental well-being.

Recycled foods: safely repurpose edible ingredients

The transformation of food waste into edible products is a trend set to increase. Upcycling allows food manufacturers to add value to some ingredients that would otherwise go to waste. The goal is to reduce food waste. Therefore, we expect to see new reuse options on supermarket shelves in 2021.

Food traceability

We are seeing a growth on the technology front, due to investments in product life cycle management. The attention of the sector focuses on the ingredients needed to make the final product. Even in exports, companies are adhering to strict labeling requirements and expiration details for food and beverages.

The aspect of food traceability becomes equally crucial for restaurants that must be able to find out at what stage any contaminated ingredient entered the system and then contact wholesalers and retailers to remove the product from the shelves. Businesses need to do this effectively and also be able to identify what went wrong in the food supply chain. Companies will be able to significantly minimize the risk and impact of this problem by adopting the right technological solutions.


Digitization: helping the resilience in the food chain

Digitization offers the opportunity to master new trends and develop resilience for future challenges. Having a resilient food supply chain means continuously adapting to changes, complying with evolving regulations, avoiding waste, and meeting new consumer demands faster.

The right technology can help maintain a reliable, secure and customer-centric supply chain. But be careful, a generic ERP solution can bring many advantages but it is not enough to face today’s challenges of the food supply chain. An integrated solution such as Infor Cloudsuite Food and Beverage with specific features for the food and beverage industry is required. Infor Cloudsuite Food and Beverage enables you to make more accurate forecasts and plan for demand, improve new product development processes, reduce downtime with a proactive approach to asset effectiveness, ensure food safety, reduce waste and provide a higher ROI.

Atlantic Technologies works with Food and Beverage companies to develop a digitalization strategy that also includes a roadmap for future success. We know the processes of the food industry and we have the right solutions. Thanks to Infor Cloudsuite Food and Beverage, we provide our customers with implementation accelerators (Infor Implementation Accelerators) that allow us to reduce project times and risks. We have helped several companies in the industry embrace digitalization, eliminate inefficiencies and increase productivity.

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