From sustainable, “net-zero” manufacturing initiatives to a swath of new plant-based food items recently hitting retailer shelves, the food and beverage production industry looks considerably different than it did three years ago. Since this new rate of accelerated change appears to be the new norm, it begs the question -what’s in store for new food manufacturing trends in 2023?
Trends and fads in the food industry have always come and gone. But the latest bakery automation equipment and software solutions open up a new realm of possibilities at your bakery, especially concerning production efficiency and the response to shifting consumer demands.
The cost to produce food, in addition to an increasingly unpredictable geopolitical environment, is expected to send consumers searching for cost-effective food products. Many households are actively looking for ways to reduce their food expenditures in response to rising living costs.
With that in mind, there are a few food industry trends to keep an eye out for as your customers adjust to the rising cost of living. Here are six food industry consumer and operational process trends you can expect to see at bakeries in 2023:
1. More emphasis on waste reduction
Consumers and businesses alike benefit from food manufacturing processes that place a special focus on waste reduction. Rising energy costs are a top concern among most food manufacturers today. One way to cut down on energy consumption is to make more efficient use of your materials.
Automation helps manufacturing companies increase efficiency with fewer resources while boosting their production and output. Automation software for bakeries provides real-time insight into your supply chain, allowing you to track your inventory across multiple production lines. This additional visibility simplifies forecasting, making it easier to gauge how precisely how much stock you need.
While automation helps you optimize your warehouse space and reduce your real estate overhead, the technology has similarly enabled more sustainable methods of food disposal. Automating your bakery is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and align your brand’s image with the sustainable manufacturing practices your customers expect.
2. Healthier bread products
The trend toward healthier foods is hardly unique to 2023, but consumers have been paying more attention to ingredients labeling. The additional scrutiny over what your customers put in their bodies is attributable to the array of chronic ailments and discomforts that often evade conventional treatment.
For instance, bread consumers have become more conscious of the impacts their food intake has on gut health. Gut health has a significant impact on overall health, so you can expect gluten-free and low-sugar-content bread products to trend upward in 2023.
3. Plant-based substitutes
The plant-based food segment expects to expand in 2023, despite some accounts indicating the has underperformed. Millions of adults eat plant-based and vegan diets in the US. Over the coming years, the demand for vegan bread products and meat substitutes should remain high.
Dozens of major food giants and restaurant chains have already begun incorporating plant-based selections into their menus. Recent surveys show that more meat eaters are increasingly amenable to vegan and plant-based products, making now an opportune time to capitalize on the growing market for vegan snacks and breads.
4. Rising operating costs
Whether you are referring to the costs to run your bakery or the average cost of living, both factors invariably impact consumer spending. With inflation at historic highs, businesses are under intense pressure to increase their profits without raising their prices.
The latest bakery automation equipment enables the astringent inventory control you need to lower your operating expenses. Bakery automation software lets you monitor your inventory levels in real-time. Industrial automation solutions for bakeries help reduce chronic materials waste that contributes to weaker profits.
Modern manufacturing software allows you to audit your current offerings for profitability and make data-driven decisions about the product’s viability. Automated manufacturing systems simplify forecasting so you can make an educated decision about which products to continue marketing.
5. Disrupted supply chains
Rising energy costs have already displayed a significant impact in areas like transport and labor. Many factories now operate under just-in-time delivery, an approach to supply chain distribution that’s not exactly renowned for its flexibility.
Supply chain disruptions are poised to continue into 2023. This will require companies to adopt more flexible procurement strategies and modernize their manufacturing operations.
Introducing upgraded bakery automation equipment to your facility will give you more visibility into your supply chain. This added transparency helps improve reaction times and decision-making, allowing you to avert bottlenecks and delays in real-time.
6. A more automated industry
Many bakeries have prioritized automation precisely because it’s so effective at resolving the recent problems and inefficiencies experienced in most modern manufacturing environments. Industrial automation solutions help bakeries manage complex supply chains and endure the ongoing labor shortage.
The latest bakery automation equipment includes enhanced sanitization features that make the machinery easier to clean over fewer required maintenance intervals. The presence of automation in bakeries of all sizes is growing because the technology provides a granular view of the production while streamlining the recall process.
You’ll always know the location of your stock within the supply chain after automating your bakery. RFID and barcode scanning features ensure you can track all your ingredients and products from end to end. Automation can improve supply chain management immensely, which is why so many bakeries have been implementing it.
Interested in updating your core processes with automation?
A full-service integrator of process control systems, EZSoft has decades of experience developing software and information controls for industrial bakery equipment. Keeping up with industry trends is one of the best ways to stay connected with your customers, but remaining on top of the latest manufacturing technology is equally important.
Learn more about maximizing your output and adding value to your customers with automation by completing our request for contact form online. Or speak with an EZSoft technician now by dialing (484) 568-5040.