Cultivating Growth in the Food Industry
To achieve growth in the food industry, look to emerging trends in the food processing industry to tell the story. While many food industry trends will come and go, the underpinnings of the entire food industry rely on safety internally, and externally. Today, savvy consumers value safety, transparency and innovation from companies more than ever before, and they’ll actively seek out brands and manufacturers they can trust. Here are five of the hottest food processing industry trends.
- Post-Covid Safety Standards: It’s time to start planning for more physical inspections and audits. Food processing is an essential industry. The gradual easing of social distancing measures around the globe means things are shifting into an all new normal with tighter precautionary measures to prevent further supply chain disruptions and potential food safety hazards. New cGMP and GFSI Food Safety Audits and SQF Certification standards help keep everyone safer.
- Alternative protein sources: The growing wellness trend and climate change concerns has people re-examining their eating habits. One of the strongest emerging trends in the food processing industry is next generation plant-based replacements for animal-sourced meats, dairy, and egg products. The rise of plant-based foods offers consumers innovative new products as an alternative to animal products, providing new areas of growth in the food industry. Already a $7 billion market in the United States, the plant-based food industry saw a 43 percent increase in dollar growth during the past two years of the pandemic.
- Technology becomes more essential in management of supply chains: Through automation, monitoring and analysis of key processes, food processing facilities can more effectively maintain operations and flow of inventory throughout the supply chain. Advanced food manufacturing software and tracking technologies can help companies plan and mitigate safety and supplier risks, manage inventory, and ultimately achieve a newer, more diversely-sourced supply chain model for the food industry.
- Sustainability continues to drive consumer demand: Food industry trends and surveys indicate that the majority of consumers feel it’s somewhat important that the foods they buy and eat are sustainably sourced. The importance of sustainability increases in younger generations and demographics, so the issue will continue to grow in importance over the long-term future of the food industry. According to the 2021 Food & Health Survey by the International Food Information Council, four in 10 Americans believe their own choices about food and beverage purchases can have an impact on the environment, and 1 in 6 believe the impact can be significant. “Around half (53%) say that if it was easier to understand the impact their choices have, it would have a greater influence on the choices they make.”
- Cannabis and hemp go mainstream. Cannabis growers and cannabis-infused product companies offer an incredible source of growth in the food industry. With cannabis and hemp-derived consumer products and infused-foods hitting marketplaces across the country, and demand continuing to rise, product safety and accuracy in labeling will become even more tightly regulated. ASI launched its Cannabis Safety and Quality Standards (CSQ Audit) in 2020 to promote industry best practices, and improve the overall safety and quality of cannabis and cannabis-infused products in the market. The CSQ Certification Program and applicable standards were built around both the ISO/IEC 17067 and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Benchmarking requirements.
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Want to drill down further into the next big things in food industry trends for 2022? See the report by Whole Foods Market here.