Food has become more than just a necessity; it is intrinsic to our society and culture, and has a big influence on the way we live our lives. The food and beverage industry has long been highly competitive, and in order to stay ahead in the market, key industry players are always trying to figure out what consumers will want next.
More and more people are showing greater concern for the environment and sustainability has become an imperative, which suggests that innovative and environmentally-friendly products are certain to gain popularity. Consumers want brands to look towards reusable packaging or packaging that fully degrades in just weeks. In fact, many consumers are already holding brands to their promise of responsibility, demanding full transparency throughout their production cycles. This enhanced consumer focus, further guarantees that manufacturers will want to not only conform to industry standards in sustainable and ethical practices, but to go beyond the legislative minimum—to differentiate themselves and garner consumer support and loyalty.
Global vs. Local Food
More consumers will begin to favor local food products—a move that will reduce carbon footprint while supporting their region’s agrifood heritage and guaranteeing fresh and healthy seasonal products. The demand for more local and seasonal foods is driving a shift in consumer behavior towards a preference for buying fresh and authentic products directly from food producers. Modern consumers have been developing a greater appreciation for the origins of locally sourced food, the people and industries involved in its production, as well as the culture and traditions of its place of origin—and this trend will clearly have a big impact on logistics and supply chain planning going forward.
Urban consumers are often the drivers of new trends, with constant demands for new and exotic products. Thanks to globalization, travel and cultural exchange—foreign foods and cuisines are more accessible than ever. Fluffy soufflé pancakes, a unique Japanese recipe with an emphasis on its cute aesthetic and soft texture, is one such trend that has spread across the globe in recent years. With growing consumer preferences for locally-sourced products, this recipe can easily be recreated anywhere using local organic milk and eggs, and even modified by adding new ingredients like regional fruits. This will create new challenges for industry players in satisfying market demand for food that is both global yet local.
Transformation of Foods
The transformation of trends is constant.This poses a problem to food manufacturers: With each new trend, manufacturers need to go through the entire cycle of designing the product and packaging, planning the supply chain, and managing production and logistics. As the variety of products demanded by the market grows more diverse, manufacturers who lack the agility and capability to match this demand will find themselves quickly overwhelmed.
Innovation in food design is already helping society to imagine new types of products for consumers to get excited about. 3D food printing is already a reality and innovators are printing everything from polygonal chocolates to bespoke Sushi. Consumers are also becoming increasingly health conscious, so the market could be seeing more types of vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and kale being turned into crunchy or sweet snacks. At the same time, consumers value fun experiences—especially in their food products. This will drive a demand for the transformation of various foods into new and unusual shapes and textures. From fluffy soufflé pancakes to cube-shaped croissants, the market will have a growing desire for tactile gratification gained through culinary experiences.
Fulfilling all these new consumer demands would however require a rather complex supply chain. As a result, food manufacturers will need solutions that enable them to plan, launch and maintain efficient and sustainable supply chains.
Plan Better with DELMIA
DELMIA solutions, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, enable manufacturers to be better prepared at every stage in a product’s life cycle from design through planning, production and logistics. These solutions enable possibilities such as:
- Digital forecasts from market intelligence to determine which trends will be most profitable
- Planning and optimizing entire supply chains digitally
- Full visibility and control over what happens throughout the supply chain
- Optimizing the workforce for improved availability and productivity
- Logistics planning that covers inter-site, last-mile distribution and reverse logistics
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