In this modern day, the complexity of maintaining the production-to-consumption food system is almost incomprehensible; populations are growing, the environment is unstable, our food diversity is reducing and food sources are dwindling. Often, these issues are also exacerbated by the requirement to keep food stuffs abundant, safer for longer, tasty, nutritious, convenient, low cost and readily accessible.
In order to deliver this vastly complex food system, there are demands in every area of the food supply chain, including agricultural production and harvesting, raw material storage, all areas of food manufacturing, including formulation, testing, processing and packaging, distribution as well as retailing.
The time for research and development has never been so prevalent within the Food & Drink sector, companies are having to change their long-standing ways of working in order to adopt more efficient and customer-friendly ways of working.
The regular changes the Food & Drink industry faces are surely some of the most fast-paced and extreme of all industry sectors. The rise of vegetarianism and veganism over the last couple of years has meant some of the industry leading companies having to adapt and stray from their original path in terms of product range and methods of working. Large political and economic events such as Brexit have meant that companies are having to “think outside the box” and adapt their strategy in order to not be affected in critically damaging ways. Obesity, healthy-eating and allergies have also meant that the ways that Food & Drink businesses operate and process their products have had to transform.
Sustainability and the environmental impact upon our planet have been other large factors in the way companies have had to adjust, focusing on creating friendlier products has often meant a rise in cost and time for manufacturers.
The constant rise in start-up businesses has also affected the market, bringing more competition to larger long-standing businesses. Often these smaller companies are able to adapt quicker to food trends and market ideas as well as starting up to capitalise on a gap in the market for which there is large demand.
With the increased demands faced by this sector, there has been a massive resurgence in new technologies and better processes across the industry over the past 2 decades. There are many disciplines within this sector that are constantly evolving, in order to enable:
With the market being as ever-changing as it has been and at its most crowded the time is now for innovation and clever ways of working. There has never been a better and more important time for people to work in the industry in order to progress and improve.