From restaurant closures and changes in consumer habits to increased product traceability concerns and supply chain disruptions, the food and beverage industry has taken some major hits during the COVID-19 outbreak. Unsurprisingly, food and beverage manufacturers are wondering what 2022 has in store for them, so FoodBusiness ERP put together a list of the top five trends for the year ahead and included the ways food manufacturing software helps manufacturers stay on trend.
Food & Beverage Trends for 2022
Being in an industry that affects every demographic, food and beverage manufacturers are under intense pressure to perform well even during unexpected and unprecedented pandemics. They can anticipate the following trends for 2022:
1. Supply Chain Pivot/Local Sourcing
One of the biggest challenges stemming from the pandemic has been the supply chain crisis. Changing trade routes, increased trade tensions, limited inventory, shipping container shortages, component shortages and labor shortages have put a kink in operational logistics.
Food Processing, a food industry magazine, notes that supply chain woes have unveiled concerns with the “just in time” (JIT) manufacturing model. JIT is the idea of working with reduced inventories and supporting frequent, smaller purchases. With the difficulties posed by the supply chain crisis, food and beverage manufacturers today may need to rethink this model and consider how they can efficiently manage their raw material inventory.
According to a Supply Chain Dive article, adopting new technology that drives efficiency and lowers costs is a good place to start. With food manufacturing and inventory management software, manufacturers can manage multi-facility operations, improve inventory management, gain visibility into inventory and monitor inventory levels and expiry dates.
In addition to new technology, food and beverage manufacturers are looking to source their materials from local versus international suppliers. Some of the many benefits of local sourcing include more flexibility and reduced costs. It also allows them more control over—and insight into—what materials will be available and when.
Not a new trend, sustainability is nevertheless continuing to grow in importance for the world’s populace. Sustainability is the practice of using today’s resources wisely so that they can be used by future generations.
For food and beverage manufacturers, sustainability efforts may include reducing emissions from their agriculture and livestock practices; improving their energy, water, and waste management; changing to recyclable or biodegradable packaging; developing a more resilient supply chain (see trend #1); and increasing transparency into their environmental values.
Vicky Davies, global marketing director of performance and active nutrition at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, tells Nutrition Insights that sustainability is going to continue shaping the nutrition industry. “Consumers are taking their personal health and the health of the planet more seriously.”
3. Plant-based Adoption
With roots in sustainability, plant-based adoption is another trend for 2022. Davies of FrieslandCampina Ingredients discussed the rise of plant-based adoption with Nutrition Insights, saying, “[Over] a third of consumers (36%) now consider themselves to be flexitarians, increasing their intake of plant-based products while mindfully balancing their diet with nutritious animal-based products.”
This jives with Food Dive’s take on the matter. In 6 trends shaping food and beverage growth in 2022, Food Dive notes that Gen Zers (people born between 1997 and 2012) are changing the food business. “Plant-based meat maker Impossible Foods has been paying close attention to Gen Z’s opinions and behavior and found that younger consumers are more likely to eat plant-based food and eat less meat in order to save the environment.”
Food manufacturers are seeing a rise in plant-based meat with ingredients such as soy, wheat and pea proteins along with chickpeas and lupini beans. New technology is being developed in order to create these innovative and environmentally friendly foods.
4. Functional Food/Wellness Trend
Following on the heels of plant-based diets comes functional food and wellness. The pandemic, as well as the rise in other health issues and an aging population, have shifted peoples’ attention to living healthier lifestyles and eating food that is customized to their needs.
FoodNavigator, a daily news source on food ingredients, flavors, starch, and food additives, writes in a recent article that experts believe “functional foods are no flash in the pan.” In other words, eating for wellbeing will be a long-term trend. Mike Hughes, Insight Director at FMCG Gurus, is quoted in the article as saying he believes there’s an opportunity for the health and wellness market to provide innovative products to meet the growing trend.
The final trend focuses on the changing commerce landscape. Though online sales have been rising for years, the pandemic spurred a direct-to-consumer (DTC) rush by manufacturers.
According to a Forbes article, the convenience of shopping from home can’t be underestimated and says about one third of Americans “saw ‘no difference’ between buying from a traditional retailer and DTC.” The article also discusses DTC’s effects on the F&B industry’s future. “It can provide opportunities, as well as risks. My prediction is those who adapt and change will prevail.”
Adapting requires manufacturers to adopt modern technology. Food business software can help food and beverage manufacturers run their business, managing multi-company finance and operations, including eCommerce functionality, from a single system.
Stay On Trend with the Right Food Business Software
Manufacturers who invest in the right food manufacturing production software don’t have to worry about staying on trend. They’ll be able to manage business challenges, make better decisions about production with real-time access to operational and financial insights, simplify production scheduling, minimize production line setup, improve operational efficiency and reduce production waste through access to key metrics, dashboards, alerts, and audit reports. Industry-specific software will help them assess whether product lines are profitable, which is critical when starting a new endeavor.
In addition, food business software helps food and beverage manufacturers:
- Remain SQF, BRCGS, FSMA, GMP, HACCP and HARPC compliant
- Ensure safety with full lot/serial traceability, product recall management and comprehensive allergen tracking
- Simplify management and delegation of tasks with role-based testing and control
- Streamline supplier management to account for multiple suppliers
Once food and beverage manufacturers understand the business-building benefits of industry-specific software, their next challenge is finding the right industry-specific software. To make it easy, they should consider FoodBusiness ERP.
Designed for food and beverage manufacturing companies, FoodBusiness ERP is built in Sage X3, providing a unified platform that is configured by NexTec industry experts who deliver a complete food and beverage manufacturing business solution. FoodBusiness ERP was developed from years of industry experience incorporating best practices from food and beverage manufacturers and industry leaders across North America.
To learn more about FoodBusiness ERP, download our ERP Selection Guide: Food and Beverage and read how the right food manufacturing software can keep you on trend. And our experts are standing by to answer any questions. We’d love to chat.