The speed of progress in the food business is quicker than any time in recent memory, and it continues to speed up. A significant part of the strain comes from continually changing consumer needs and preferences. Assuming it takes you a year and a half to send off another item in light of a buyer pattern, you’ve most likely currently missed the window.
From the volatility of consumer preferences to new regulations in the wake of Covid-19 and the increasing prominence of AI and food industry data analytics, there are myriad challenges, trends, and opportunities for food and beverage entrepreneurs today. Given how diverse, consumer-centric, complex, dynamic, yet lucrative this industry is, leading data scientists are constantly unearthing valuable insights on its present state and possible future course.
So as we have entered the new year, it’s now time to look ahead – what food and beverage industry will contend within 2022, and who can expect a better year? Here’s to know all about the trends, challenges and opportunities in the food industry.
Some important data-driven inferences in this regard –
- Constant Lockdowns coupled with Revised Regulations
Like many other industries and verticals today, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the dynamics of the Food Industry across different segments. The first and most obvious one has been bearing the brunt of constant shutdowns. The sheer unpredictability of it has driven food businesses over the edge, along with massive supply chain disruptions that have adversely affected inventories and sales.
Owing to the pandemic, the food safety and hygiene regulations of food handlers have been revamped. Complying with these revised standards and constant monitoring has become a top priority for food brands today.
- 2022 Dessert Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities
When we speak of 2022 dessert trends, the most noteworthy shift has been towards homemade comfort foods. Since people have been largely restricted to their homes, they have taken to rustling up sweet fare- chocolates, cakes, and other baked goodies in particular.
So, we can see that the demand for their ingredients has skyrocketed. And consumers have also taken to anxiety-shopping, storing bulk stocks of ice cream and other frozen desserts to last them through the shutdowns.
Meanwhile, now, economies are opening up but the tendency to rely on comfort desserts is still strong. Combine these with vegan, sustainable, and sugar-free alternatives and you have a winning business model!
- AI and Food Industry Data Analytics
Having incurred so many losses due to the pandemic, most of the food and beverage companies are treading carefully now. Although the vaccinations are in full swing, the pandemic is far from over. Before taking any new corporate decision or launching any new product, food brands want to be absolutely sure of the response.
Hence, big data and AI are playing an important role in guiding decision-makers (the top management and the marketing teams) that their impending steps and policies are in the right direction.
- Elimination of Single-Use Plastics
Be it the governmental policies or a shift in consumer perceptions and awareness, the onus of being and presenting oneself as sustainable is a big challenge for food and beverage businesses today. Herein lies the latent opportunity to convert this sustainability drive into a solid CSR plan and resultant goodwill for your brand.
If you look around the globe, there are many countries that have banned single-use plastics. Well-known brands like McDonald’s, Nestle, and Pepsi that have been proactive in using recyclable materials for packaging have been extremely popular. Not just packaging, finding sustainable alternatives to plastic in your production and supply chain is equally important now.
Also Read: Food Trends and Predictions for 2022
Businesses which have adopted these changes will survive. Regardless of whether it’s a combination of virtual and actual inspections, the utilization of blockchain to trace supplies and forestall misrepresentation, they are just barely on the cusp of the ‘Innovation Age’.
The Food and Beverage Industry has always been rife with new challenges, and the reverberations of the ongoing pandemic and global sustainability drive are expected to garner further momentum. With various emerging new food trends and opportunities, the time is ripe for businesses to steer their product research, branding, and supply chains in the right direction.