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Food safety trends 2022: How has the food industry changed?
The food industry enters the "new normal" after a pandemic with a stronger approach to food safety.
The food industry enters the "new normal" after a pandemic with a stronger approach to food safety.
- Food safety trends for 2022 revolve around automation of processes, healthier options, sustainability, and more focus on food safety.
- Food safety trends are significantly influenced by consumer demands, environmental impact, and the economic status of a nation.
- In 2022, restaurants are expected to change their old ways and cope with the strict food laws to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
The food industry is a very dynamic sector of the community. It changes yearly and is easily influenced by customer preferences and health concerns.
If there is one evident thing that changed the whole dynamics of the food industry, particularly the aspect of food safety, it would be the arrival of COVID-19. This phenomenon shifted every food safety trend predicted in the past years and significantly altered how businesses approach food safety in their everyday services.
As the economy copes with the new normal, the food industry regains a foothold and is projected to grow in sales by $899 billion by the end of 2022. Consumers are to expect a more diverse and stricter approach to food safety as food manufacturers find more effective ways to protect the supply chain.
As the industry is more aware of the potential problems that a pandemic may bring, the supply chain system can expect stricter food regulations to control food safety and protect public health.
This article looks into the most recent food safety trends brought about by the sudden shift in the food industry.
How has food safety changed over the years?
Over the many events of food safety issues throughout the years, food safety agencies have put more attention to keeping the food supply chain safer. Occurrences such as the outbreak of E.coli 0157:H7 in 1993 shook the industry and prompted several agencies to work and harmonize government efforts with consumer interest and safety.
With a deeper understanding of the behavior of pathogens and the complexity of foods, the food industry has found more ways to protect public health. From a system where the responsibility of cooking foods correctly is placed upon the consumers, central government agencies have now shifted their focus to strengthening food safety regulations ensuring that the food released to the public is safe.
Laws such as the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 paved the way for risk-based preventive controls that reduce the likelihood of foodborne illness outbreaks. Agencies also now have proper guidelines to follow on implementing improvements in food service safety and sanctions in case of non-compliance.
In addition to regulations, the industry has also started to embrace technology and the use of software programs for a more transparent food supply chain. Food businesses have gone paperless for a more sustainable operation and have streamlined their processes to make it easier to integrate with other programs.
What has been the biggest influence on food safety trends?
The very meaning of the word trend translates to how a particular topic develops or changes and implies the effects of its surroundings. Such is also the case with food safety trends. The food industry's approach to changes in food safety and other aspects of the process is often a response to the demands of consumers and their effects on the environment.
The following are some of the main factors that affect food safety trends:
- Consumer preference and demand. This is perhaps the main factor that drives all sorts of trends in the food industry. The industry aims to satisfy consumer demands while keeping them safe. When a collective demand from the consumers arises, this becomes a market gap and opportunity for the industry to fill. In turn, when new food trends arise, new sets of food safety regulations and guidelines must be released to ensure safety.
- Sustainability. In addition to consumer demand, the food industry responds to its environmental responsibility by protecting natural resources. More recently, trends are greatly influenced by finding ways to become more sustainable as the world faces natural phenomena such as climate change. Food businesses develop systems that will reduce the need to harvest materials from natural resources without harming the environment and for food security.
- Heath. With information on foods and safety becoming more accessible, consumers are also becoming more conscious of their lifestyle choices. The desire of consumers for products that are healthy or have added functions for their health drives the industry to find more functional raw materials and products. Health consciousness also encourages more restrained diet plans, such as vegan diets.
- Social influences. In the age of technology, information travels very fast, and the activity of social personalities reaches customers within a few clicks. Food businesses often use this avenue for marketing. Consumers tend to mimic or patronize products used by the majority of those they believe are influential.
Food safety trends are significantly influenced by external factors, especially consumer demands. The food industry is a service-oriented business that continuously finds ways to sustain the needs and wants of consumers while protecting them from potential harm. It is the responsibility of every food business to implement food safety systems that will ensure safe food production.
How did COVID affect food safety?
The global phenomenon that is COVID-19 undeniably struck the food industry hard. Restrictions imposed by government agencies to reduce the transmission rate of the virus resulted in a significantly limited interaction within the food service industry.
Food workers were limited, some businesses were forced to close, and restrictions made it harder for suppliers to ship their products. The whole scenario that the pandemic caused has put significant pressure on the supply chain.
Although the community is seeing the nearing end of the pandemic, and there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food, businesses remain vigilant against person-person transmission. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of food safety for food businesses and increased consumer awareness.
The long-term effects of the pandemic have prompted food businesses to increase awareness, improve staff training on food hygiene, and add practices particular to controlling COVID-19. In addition to the efforts of individual food businesses, food agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration have extended their efforts to draw guidelines for safer operations.
Food safety trends in the US
The United States saw significant changes when the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 was passed. It was considered one of the most comprehensive revisions to the food safety system of the country and changed its approach.
Now, to meet the challenges left by the ongoing pandemic, the US supply chain continues to come up with smarter solutions.
Here are some of the latest food safety trends in the US:
Smarter food safety by the FDA. As part of the objective of the FSMA and the FDA's program "The New Era of Smarter Food Safety," the food agency will continue to make more modern approaches to food safety. This program's center is developing a technology-driven traceability system, smart tools for addressing outbreaks, more modern business models, and highlighting food safety culture.
This trend is seen to pave the way for more enhanced predictive assessments for food safety purposes and more effective and efficient responses to issues and outbreaks. The technology-driven trend aims to make the whole supply chain more visible to the customers throughout the stages of production.
Post-pandemic approach to food service. Although the world is learning how to combat the virus and the cases of infection are continuously decreasing, the virus is here to stay. As such, food businesses are finding more ways to protect their consumers. Businesses are going beyond just providing alcohol and thermal scanners. Emphasis is given to a stricter cleaning and sanitation schedule, including a more aggressive approach to preventing cross-contamination.
Sustainability of operations. While not new, sustainability remains a top trend among food businesses. Communities and the food industry consider achieving complete sustainability a great performance measure. More companies are expected to pursue sustainability as one of their main objectives in the next years. As businesses in the food industry are some of the most reliant entities on nature, their roles in sustainability movements are seen as invaluable.
Food safety rules on food deliveries. The pandemic has significantly shifted how consumers access food and businesses provide services. In 2021, food deliveries tripled in value compared to the services in 2017, amounting to around $150 billion. This trend is not going anywhere any time soon. With the fast-paced setting and busier lifestyle of consumers, the convenience of food deliveries has become an integral part of their routines. With the continuous growth of this sector, more new guidelines on logistics and food hygiene practices for the transport of food are being established.
Food safety trends in the UK
The effects of the pandemic globally hit the food industry. The UK food industry is no exception to this. In recent months, the country took steps toward unifying policymakers and academics to strengthen its approach to combating foodborne illnesses. This served as an answer to the falling number of audits in the country due to the pandemic and the recent Brexit.
The following trends are seen to rise as a response to the continuous pressure of the pandemic and other national crises:
- Automation to resolve labor crisis. The effects of limited interaction in the food industry during the pandemic revealed the importance of automation. With the significant problem with labor employment, companies are expected to turn to automation of some food operations. While this trend does not necessarily mean removing the participation of human resources, it is seen as a solution for more precise food safety and production operations.
- Food safety digitalization. As food businesses saw the convenience of using artificial intelligence and data to understand and serve consumers better, the country can expect to see more digitalization over the next years. Now that the implementation of these technological advances has taken place, the concern with the safety of data looms. This trend may bring forth stronger data protection while upholding consumer transparency.
- Pressure on hygiene and cleaning. Although cases of foodborne illnesses dropped during the pandemic because of limited dining, there have been recent reports of food poisoning and recalls as the economy gradually intensifies. Food businesses are expected to adopt stricter food hygiene practices with stronger protocols for controlling outbreaks and detecting potential food safety hazards.
Generally, trends across the globe are almost the same. Most trends focus on bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic by setting up stricter protocols for food safety. Additionally, most of the trends predicted for 2022 and the coming years also focus on improving the immunity of consumers through functional products and streamlining food operations through digitization and automation of operations.
The most popular new food safety trend in 2022
The top food industry trends in 2022 are significantly influenced by the effects of the pandemic and the need for the workforce to adapt to digitalization. The industry can expect to see more movements toward automation and the use of smart technology for processing and food safety.
In addition, the continuing demand of the public to see beyond the label will push food manufacturers to improve on data transparency. In this section, we collected some of the most widely noted trends in 2022 and some information from our team at FoodDocs.
- Food safety is going digital. In recent years, the food industry saw a fast food safety digitalization. Businesses started to use digital solutions for more accurate recording of food safety data, minimizing human error, and overall ease of compliance. The industry is only expected to embrace this trend more as various software programs, and automated applications come out of the market to help food businesses.
A good example of this is how software and application are linked to machines and sensors so that data recording is streamlined and done automatically without human intervention. Such digital solutions do not intend to replace the human workforce because the information still needs to be verified. Rather, the process makes food safety recording faster and less prone to error.
- Rise of new hazards. With the combined effects of globalization, climate change, and digitalization, it is quite inevitable that several different hazards emerge from the food industry. An example would be the increase in cases of food fraud. With the diminishing supply of natural resources and advancement of technology in producing foods, problems like food fraud increased. In addition, the limited movement of inspectors during the pandemic allowed illegal businesses to operate more frauds.
- Functional food. Natural immunity and health have never been more emphasized in recent years than now. Consumers are more likely to be concerned with how to protect themselves from pathogens such as viruses that can potentially cause foodborne illnesses while getting more from the food they eat. As such, food businesses are expected to release more functional foods that will combine good quality products and health benefits from functional ingredients.
- Data-driven supply chain transparency. Perhaps one of the most widely observed trends in recent years is the consumers' demand for more transparency regarding the foods they eat. Awareness of social issues has opened the consumers' eyes to the possibility of fraud and other ethical issues that may be happening behind market shelves.
In the coming months, the industry can expect to see more participants in the supply chain jumping in on the data-driven environment. Access to information by consumers may become more pronounced, forcing manufacturers to be more accountable for their operations and promoting stricter food safety systems. As consumers become more aware of how foods are processed, more community members are more conscious about how the food they are eating was produced. Consumers are also now concerned about whether the food they consume is sustainably produced and free of pesticides or other chemical residues.
Food safety trends this year and in the coming months are not limited to what is listed in this piece. In general, the industry is expected to see stricter food safety regulations brought about by the effects of the pandemic. The industry is also expected to shift towards a more digitally oriented approach to food safety.
Your best bet to help your food business adapt to the digitalization of food safety is to let our digital solution handle the transition. In just an average of 15 minutes, you can get a comprehensive digital Food Safety Management System powered by artificial intelligence. Easily streamline your processes and let our digital solution help your team get food safety tasks done accurately.
What can you do today to stay on top of the new food safety trends?
The economy may be gradually opening, but it will take some time before the consumers get used to the new normal after a pandemic. For food businesses, this is an opportunity to plan and stay on top of what might occur in the coming days.
The devastating effects of the pandemic on food businesses only prove that planning has its benefits and can set you apart from others. As a recovering food business, your team would need to find ways to gain stability in the new environment while staying on top of food safety trends.
Here are some industry trends in food safety and sanitation that you can do to keep your business as competitive as possible:
Update operations. Do not expect that you will be operating how you did pre-pandemic. While the industry is slowly starting to open again, you must adapt your operations to accommodate safety guidelines while making consumers feel safe. This can be shown in your establishment layout that reduces contact, adapting to the use of digital menus and ordering or even visibly stricter food hygiene protocols.
Research about new preferences. You can never go wrong when you are fully equipped with information. Before creating a plan to operate your business post-pandemic, research how the market has behaved recently and how it is projected to act in the coming days.
Explore contactless services. Food deliveries were a big hit when everyone was on lockdown. Although face-to-face services will start operating again, the convenience and popularity of delivery services will not go anywhere. Plan your operations and include its expansion to catering deliveries. Operating self-service kiosks in your food business may also apply contactless services.
Digitize food safety. The fastest and most versatile way for your food business to cope with the ever-changing food industry is to use the aid of trends in food safety software. Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems can better understand consumers' movements. Additionally, digital solutions can help you comply with food safety regulations with just a few clicks.
In an interview with our CEO and Co-founder of FoodDocs, Katrin Liivat, she noted a looming problem with meeting compliance guidelines in food safety and maintaining them. To perform all activities to keep food safe, food businesses usually resort to hiring more staff or spending more time on these critical operations.
Solutions such as the digital Food Safety Management System from FoodDocs can help food businesses comply with food safety laws more efficiently and allow them to focus on other activities such as achieving sustainability.
"With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, our FoodDocs team has made a way to help you make compliance easier."
the co-founder of FoodDocs mentioned. Digital solutions and technology will greatly help food businesses achieve their goals in different aspects faster and more accurately. What is usually achieved through hours and hours of conceptualization and trials, such as a food safety management system, can now be done in mere minutes.
Using digital solutions is your fastest gateway to coping with the trends in the food industry. A great example is our digital Food Safety Management System. Our digital solution offers features such as a smart notification program that can remind employees of upcoming tasks. This feature is paired with detailed instructions on monitoring significant parameters for food safety compliance installed in our mobile app.
What are 3 current food trends?
Product innovation stopped for a while due to the effects of the pandemic. Despite this, the coming months are seen as an avenue to release new food products into the market. Innovations do not have to mean new products. Some restaurants are expected to lower the number of dishes on their menus. This movement aims to improve efficiency while promoting profit gains. As such, some food businesses aim to expand in terms of services rather than their product list.
Here are the top 3 food trends that are currently dominating the food industry:
- Deliveries. In 2020, food deliveries in the US reached around $18.5 billion. To date, independent reports state that the industry is priced at an estimated $215.69 billion. Food deliveries gained even more popularity when food services and movement became limited. Restaurants and grocery stores opened their doors to delivery services to continue their businesses. Nowadays, food deliveries can be in the form of pre-portioned food ingredients marketed as meal kits or standard heat-and-eat orders.
- Healthier options. Driven by the community's more conscious of what they eat, the food businesses have started offering alternative recipes to their established products. You may have already seen "Keto versions" of your everyday food products in the market or those labeled with less fat, no added preservatives, and the like.
These industry movements aim to fuel consumers' desire to eat healthier food products and protect themselves from sickness by improving their immune systems. This trend has seen a significant increase in attraction in 2020. The Information Resources, Inc or IRI reported that products with nutritional claims grew in sales by 10%.
- Plant-based foods. Continuing on the healthier option trend, plant-based products are expected to gain more attraction from consumers in 2022. Reports have shown that a large portion of the adults in the community eats plant-based meats and dairy. The alternative meat industry is projected to reach $2 billion by 2024.
In general, the industry can expect health consciousness to be a main market driver in the coming days. As consumers become more socially aware, food businesses are also expected to include the environment's welfare in their agenda. The current climate of the food industry suggests that food businesses must be more inclusive when it comes to offering healthier options and finding more environment-friendly operations.
Why is it important to keep up with food (safety) trends?
The food industry is a very competitive niche. It has been shown in statistics that at least 30% of newly opened restaurants fail in their first year. Keeping up with the current trends in the food industry may just be a way to stay alive in a cut-throat environment.
While new trends in the food industry often move fast and easily change, some trends can help your food business flourish and work more efficiently. Trends such as shifting your operations to become more digitally centered can help improve efficiency and accuracy for a very long time.
Keeping up with food trends is often seen as a driver for competitive advantage. For example, trends that are related to food safety can help your food business become more secure and protect your customers more effectively from foodborne illnesses.
What technological trends affect the food industry?
Technology has become a significant part of the development of the food industry over the years. Not only is the use of technology a great help in helping to create processes that will aid in the betterment of the environment, but it has also become a necessity to resolve the issues from the pandemic.
Technology has helped the food industry ride with the effects of limited interactions and speeds up the process of adapting to consumer needs. Nowadays, technological trends are more of an integral part of the food industry rather than just an option for some.
Here is a list of what are some trends in the food industry:
Use of social media for marketing. Even before the pandemic hit the community, social media and the internet have been great avenues for marketing products. Social media, in particular, serves as a free marketing tool for most businesses. During the pandemic, it was one of the biggest ways for people to get information as they are mostly tied to the internet.
In recent times, social media is by far one of the best ways to reach consumers. In addition, people often mimic or patronize what they see is trending on this platform. It affects consumers' buying patterns and influences industry trends significantly.
Data-driven processing. The use of algorithms and machine learning programs are some of the latest trends in the food processing industry and have completely improved customer service. These programs have helped understand consumers better and serve them beyond their needs. They use the information gathered from the previous selections of customers to generate suggestions that may help them in the future.
Contactless payment. Convenience is a big part of how contactless transactions became a big hit over the years. Consumers can order and pay in advance to limit contact with food servers. Contactless payments and services contribute to food hygiene. It reduces the need to hold cash as well as human contact.
Contactless payments in the form of Point of Sale Systems (POS) also improve ordering efficiency. Orders go directly to the kitchen without having contact with a third-person server, and orders can be integrated into other store sections, such as inventory and stock management.
Automation of manufacturing process. This technological trend is related to contactless payments. Recently, there has been an uptick in the use of restaurant software to manage service, stocks, payments, accounting activities, and even food safety. The restaurant industry has started to accommodate the efficiencies that software programs bring.
Automation can be in the form of using programs to integrate several different operations in your food business. A POS system can be connected to accounting and inventory software. This process can give your team an immediate overview of your business status.
In other areas, automation can be applied through software that can take out the repetitive tasks in your operations and do them for you. An example of this is the auto-fill system used by our team in FoodDocs. Using our smart and automatically generated monitoring forms, our system can prefill the logs for you, which will only need verification. Such digital solutions can save your team a significant amount of time.
What are three trends in food service?
The food service scene has significantly changed over the years. The food service industry is slowly trying to adapt to the many new challenges of the pandemic, climate change, and falling economy. Changes in the service process of different food companies and how they handle remaining staff to reduce turnover rate are evident over the past months.
Here are three major trends in the food service industry:
- Self-service kiosks. Restaurants have turned an eye to using self-service kiosks to reduce the risk of food contamination and foodborne outbreaks and resolve the looming workforce shortage issue. These machines allow customers to select and customize their orders independently without the assistance of service staff. Staff shortage has been one of the major challenges that the pandemic brought to the food sector. In a way, self-service kiosks present an answer to this concern and can even create more efficient food production systems.
- Ghost kitchens. With the rise of food deliveries and the growing disinterest of consumers in dine-in, some restaurants have turned to offering services through ghost kitchens. This type of food service category focuses on preparing meals for delivery alone, without the option for dine-in. A huge portion of the restaurant industry in the US shifted to operating as ghost kitchens over the pandemic, and some are retaining this setup. Not only does this reduce contact among consumers and servers, but it also lessens the need for more food safety and service for front-of-the-house operations.
- Food safety culture investments. Recent studies suggest that having a positive food culture improves the performance of food service employees and their regard for food safety. This trend has seen great results in promoting accountability among food service employees. A positive food safety culture encourages food employees to practice proactiveness in the workplace. Recently, the industry has been investing in improving the workplace atmosphere. This objective is considered an important aspect of food safety as it helps ensure the active participation of all employees from management to service ranks.
What factors affect food service trends?
Like other trends in the food industry, food service is significantly affected by what is happening in its environment. The main drivers of what will come next in food service have something to do with what the consumer wants, what the industry can give, and what would be good for the environment.
- Economic environment. Trends are often reflective of the economic status of a community. When the overall economic status of a niche significantly grows, more options to fill that market gap are released by food service businesses. Likewise, cheaper alternatives are presented to the public when the market falls.
- Consumer behavior and demands. To gain favor over consumer interest, the food service industry uses studies on what consumers are recently looking for. An example would be increasing demand for more healthy options on the menu. When this trend started, plant-based options skyrocketed through the industry, and everyone hopped in on the trend of serving plant-based alternatives to the usual dishes.
- Social factors. In relation to consumer behavior, media plays a significant role in what the food service industry presents. Local food service businesses try to bring the experience that the social media personalities are advertising closer to consumers. As such, businesses open their doors to new products that are being aggressively advertised.
- Labor cost and availability of workforce. More than the effects of the pandemic, the food service industry is plagued with problems such as very low wages and a poor working environment. This problem has led to bigger issues such as labor shortages. Such outcomes have forced the food service industry to reevaluate workplace activities and strengthen the culture within its ranks. Additionally, the rise of automation and the use of machines to relieve the problem of labor shortage.
Why is it important to keep up with the latest food service trends?
Food service trends are often new avenues to create a competitive advantage in your niche. These trends can be internal improvements or those concerning your organization or external ones concerning the services and products you offer in your establishment.
Keeping up with food service trends used to be just for attracting new customers. Nowadays, food service trends also focus on maintaining good relations with customers and employees. The food service workplace is implementing more and more activities that help show the value of the work being done.
In addition, when your food business is up-to-date with the latest food trends, you can often find more efficient ways to operate and fulfill your customers' needs. Useful tools are often introduced in the food service industry to help employees keep up with the demands regarding the safety and quality of products.
What are the current trends in food production technology?
Food technology innovations are expected to move towards a more sustainable production process. The trends that are observed in food technology are mostly geared towards solving problems brought about by environmental problems and the effects of COVID-19. As a result, more technology for automating processes and digitizing systems is emerging in the industry.
- Automation of production. Automation is seen in most food businesses by using machines to replace the winding labor force. For one, self-service kiosks are installed to reduce the need for receiving orders. Another example of automation is installing artificial intelligence-powered sensors that detect food defects based on pre-uploaded information. This innovation is often used to speed up inspection during receiving. Automation of processes has been proven to reduce the likelihood of errors which can be a common case in the human workforce.
- Digital food management. Restaurants and food manufacturing companies have now digitized their food management systems. Food businesses can optimize their work using artificial intelligence and machine learning programs in food systems by letting programs do repetitive tasks more accurately. In addition, these digital solutions allow food business owners to navigate and manage their operations remotely using real-time analytics. They can also help the business team understand the needs of consumers more and quickly identify what needs to be improved in their operations. Today, food safety management and other aspects of the food business can be integrated into a single program for efficiency.
- Transparency. Consumers are now given more access to how their foods are being made. QR codes show the whole process of how the food product got into the market when scanned is made available so customers will have a general idea that the products they are buying were ethically made. This trend helps build brand credibility among food businesses while ensuring accountability.
- Alternative protein ingredients. Although this trend is currently surrounded by controversies, food industries are looking more into alternative protein production. Alternative proteins can be laboratory grown, plant-based, or even made from macrofungi such as mushrooms. This trend is attributed to the growing concern about climate conditions due to the massive carbon footprint produced by animal farming. This solution combines the fields of molecular biology and food science to come up with alternative protein sources that are just as healthy, if not healthier, than meat proteins.
What are the current trends in food and beverage service?
The food and beverage industry is seen to be focusing more on improving the lifestyle of consumers and boosting immunity as a barrier against different types of illnesses. To fulfill this, businesses must incorporate more functional and immune-boosting ingredients into products. In addition, more alternative food diets are expected to be offered in the market.
- Healthier foods. You may have already heard of plant-based food, keto recipes, and meat alternatives. These trends result from increasing consumer awareness regarding the negative effects of irresponsible farming of animals and the unhealthy results of eating too many indulgent foods. As such, companies are finding more ways to produce foods while reducing their carbon footprints and releasing products that may be considered alternatives to our usual dishes. You will notice businesses promoting plant-based burgers, superfoods such as healthy seeds, and suggestions for alternative ingredients to your common pantry food items.
- Functional products. Much emphasis is being given to foods that are known to improve the immune system of individuals. In 2022, more consumers have taken a more focused approach in choosing the foods that they eat. Reports according to IRI mentioned that at least 28% of the adults in the US are conscious of self-care routines and that 41% of them consume health-promoting actions in food. This trend is expected to grow even further as the effects of the pandemic persist.
- Food deliveries or grab-and-go services. In addition to producing more functional and healthier products, consumer behavior has significantly changed over the years. Both the effects of the pandemic and the fast-paced and busy lives of consumers allow them to enjoy a sit-down experience at a restaurant. Consumers embraced the fast service of deliveries to cope with their busy schedules. An alternative to food deliveries is self-service kiosks allowing consumers to customize and pick their meals and have them ready in minutes.
- Food safety-centered service layouts. The general public is expected to remain cautious if they choose to dine out in restaurants. Food businesses will be expected to implement stricter protocols when it comes to food safety. Face masks may remain, and sanitation areas must be strictly provided for consumers and employees. In addition, a more accommodating layout of your food business may help customers feel more secure when dining.
- Lesser food waste and stronger sustainability. Consumer awareness also includes being more socially responsible. As such, food businesses are also becoming more concerned about how they can produce their products while being sustainable and contributing to the environment. Some businesses are looking into adopting zero-waste operations and only using renewable energy sources in support of movements aiming to resolve the climate crisis.
What technological trends affect the industry of food trucks?
The food truck industry could not dodge the effects of the recent pandemic. Just when this industry's sales skyrocketed, the pandemic hit and immobilized food trucks. Food trucks need to find ways to ensure safety among consumers and their employees for food businesses that rely on mobility.
Now that the economy is opening up, aspiring restauranteurs must know what are the trends in the food truck industry:
- POS systems. Food trucks are known for being very convenient. To add to this feature, food truck owners would benefit from using mobile POS systems. This type of software allows cashless transactions for customers and would help significantly reduce the long lines that are known to build up in food trucks. Software such as Square is an integrated payment system that also allows your system to track inventory for every purchase made in your business. POS systems can also help you in making sales reports.
- Location apps. Food truck businesses rely heavily on strategic locations. Finding a spot accessible to consumers and good for business is always a priority. With location apps, your location would not be hard to find for consumers, and you can communicate your whereabouts to new and old customers. Location apps update your location on interactive maps of different cities. The app also synchronizes updates on your social media so your patrons can find you easily.
Location apps can also be used to promote your food truck for hiring customers, such as for parties, catering events, or festival gatherings. A great example is Roaming Hunger which is a tracker app that can disseminate your location to potential customers and, at the same time, connect your business to events that may be in need of your food service. Other location apps that may be a bit simpler to use include StreetFoodFinder, which is limited to some cities in the US.
- Food safety software. Food trucks often operate with a very small workforce. This makes monitoring food safety tasks hard to keep up with, especially when there is a long line of customers. Food safety software can help you in this type of situation.
Software such as the digital Food Safety Management System of FoodDocs can automatically generate monitoring forms related to your operations. What's even greater is that these forms come with an auto-fill feature that prefills the forms based on your previous logs. This software also comes with a smart notification system that alerts food handlers of any food safety task that needs your attention.
Other software such as SafetyChain Compliance Manager can help streamline the process of selecting, auditing, and monitoring your food suppliers. This app can help food trucks and other restaurant operations ensure that their suppliers uphold the same standards as you do in your establishment. It also makes their evaluation more effective in reducing food safety risks.
Moving forward, learning what technological trends affect the food truck industry can significantly help you cope with the changes in the food service scene. Technological trends such as software programs can help you jumpstart your business again as the economy opens up while maintaining the safety of your customers.
What is the future of the food industry?
The food industry has grown a lot over the years, and we can expect more growth in the next. Improvements will inevitably come as solutions to problems such as climate change, depleting resources, human errors, and emerging foodborne diseases.
As the food industry opens up globally, consumers can expect more diversity in choices. Food businesses must ensure that there will be enough food safety guidelines to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses or other food safety issues.
In the coming years, we can expect food businesses to be more progressive in choosing the food operations they will implement in their system. Sustainability and regard for the environment will be a priority. As consumers learn to demand accountability from businesses, we expect these movements to be reciprocated by more environmentally friendly operations and responsibly sourced products.
Technology will play a great role in this shift to help businesses attain efficiency and sustainability together for a safer working environment. Software programs and workforce automation will undeniably help resolve issues arising from human error. They will also greatly help reduce the burden of performing repetitive tasks in their operations.
Despite the many obstacles presented to the food industry by the pandemic and rising food safety issues, innovations and the use of technology will guide food businesses across them. Digitalization of operations will be the biggest solution to achieving sustainable, fast, and healthy products and services.