Food Industry Trends to Watch for in 2018

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With innovative foods and methods of production, the food industry continues to expand its reach and diversity. Spanning various food categories, digitalization and technological advancements have allowed manufacturers and retailers to more closely align with consumer preferences. Shaping the industry for years to come, current food and manufacturing trends include streamlined production, improved communication, healthier chocolate, reimagined cereal and much more.

Food Trends

Evolution of Cheese

Cheese is a well-known and well-loved food. Following current health food trends, consumers increasingly want healthier, fresher, more organic cheese options. Demanding convenience, consumers also increasingly want foods packaged for on-the-go eating. According to a report, cheese manufacturers are capitalizing on current trends by releasing a variety of new cheese products, in special sizes, cuts and packs. Forecasts predict the focus of cheese will continue to be on the experience of eating it, with new flavors, enhanced nutrition and better craftsmanship.

food industry

Healthy Chocolate

Retailers, marketers and manufacturers in the food industry have classified chocolate as a decadent candy for a long time, but current trends are working to reclassify it as a nutritious food. Changing the focus of what chocolate is will help it become part of today’s popular approach to eating a non-restricted, balanced diet. Building its reputation as a healthy snack choice, chocolate companies are working to create nutritious chocolate choices that don’t sacrifice taste.

Reimagining Cereal

Although many upcoming cereal releases are set to focus on indulgence, cereal manufacturing is working to reposition cereal into other products and meals beyond breakfast. Several upcoming innovations are expected to expand the use of cereal and incorporate it into other meals. Experimenting with ingredients and processes to enhance its basic nutrition, cereal may soon be viewed as a more universal food.

Probiotics

Beyond yogurt and similar traditional sources, the food industry is still trying to create new options for delivering probiotics. Offering significant health benefits, probiotics are now working their way into bread. Promoting digestive health and often featuring additional health-centric ingredients, such as flaxseed and chia seeds, probiotic bread is expected to be a popular new trend.

Manufacturing Trends

Streamlined Production

Food and beverage manufacturing relies on strict formulas and production methodologies. New applications are alleviating some of the burden equipment operators must work under. Decreasing the need to manually monitor each production step, digital tools are enabling leaner manufacturing and streamlined production lifecycles. With faster production lifecycles, food products can reach the market much quicker and in better condition.

Improved Communication

Digital communication methods have improved external and internal communication. Connecting manufacturers with retailers and customers, new communication methods have caused manufacturing to move from a focus on product-driven models to consumer-driven models. Enabling a company to interact directly with its customers, e-commerce tools allow purchases to be carried out completely online. These tools also help improve the customer experience by compiling customer data and streamlining sales procedures.

Enhanced Supply Chain Management

To preserve ingredient and product quality, food and beverage manufacturers require a precise look at product-to-market delivery and sales. Digital solutions allow continuous, real-time monitoring of production, product quality, delivery and sales. Modern solutions also help manufacturers forecast and plan for changing demands and trends. Providing a clear and accurate view of the supply chain, all companies involved will experience improved operational efficiency.

The digital transformation of the food industry, along with changing food trends, is streamlining product-to-market processes and allowing manufacturers to follow changing demands more effectively. With automation, digital communication and data analytics, the food industry is now using more and more digital solutions to monitor consumer preferences. With a focus on healthier, multi-functional foods, manufacturers are expected to continue presenting innovative versions of well-known foods, such as cereal, cheese and chocolate.
 


 

Sources
https://www.foodmanufacturing.com/news/2018/02/us-food-market-outlook-2018-5-key-trends-packaged-facts
https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2018/01/03/2018-and-beyond-Five-mega-trends-set-to-shape-the-food-industry
https://www.packagedfacts.com/Cheese-Natural-Specialty-10037152/
https://www.swktech.com/6-trends-digitization-food-beverage-manufacturing/