When we talk about food, technology is hardly the first thing that strikes our mind. Nevertheless, technology has been changing everything around us. It is changing the way different industries function worldwide and the food industry is no exception.
The emergence of new technologies, mobile app-based services, and many others have led to a massive transformation in how the food industry operates. This integration of food and technology has given birth to food technology popularly known as ‘foodtech’.
So, is foodtech changing the landscape?
Yes, to a large extent. Today, at the click of a button, we receive delicious meals at our doorstep. In a short span of time, the foodtech industry has emerged as one of fastest-growing in the country, with foodtech startups revolutionising the way Indians eat.
Food lovers are getting pickier about what they eat. Juggling between personal lives and hectic work schedules, there is a demand for convenience when it comes to food. It would also not be wrong to admit that consumers’ spending trends reflect their willingness to pay for foodtech innovations for the convenience it provides.
However, this convenience is not accepted at the expense of quality.
Now, more than ever before, people are interested to know the kind of ingredients used in their food, how healthy is it, its source of production, and how hygienic is the place from where they ordered?
Foodtech industry defining the future
Innovations in foodtech that can meet consumers’ increasing needs of convenience, health, the freshness of the products, and environmental sustainability will define the future of the foodtech industry. Moreover, a recent report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) prophesied that the foodtech sector is estimated to grow at CAGR of 25-30% to USD 8 billion by 2022.
Let us have a look at some of the areas where technology in the foodtech industry can play a significant role in the upcoming future.
Smart QR menu display and contactless payments
It is quite clear that the coronavirus can spread through touching contaminated surfaces. This has made consumers wary of eating out in restaurants or order in. To ensure customers’ safety, restaurants have created QR code for a menu that will eliminate cross-contamination.
Customers can scan the QR code using their smartphones, get the menu displayed digitally on their mobile screen, order, and eat. For payment, they can again scan the code, get their bill generated, and make contactless payments.
Online customisation of meals
The eating trends have changed over the years. Pressed for time, consumers, especially millennials, look for ready-to-eat options that are healthy but easily available. We often check the contents and the nutrition facts mentioned on the food labels of a packaged food.
Now with the integration of tech in the food services business, people can customise their food as per their preference and the amount of calorie intake they would want for the day.
Online tracking of ingredients for food safety and quality
Suppose, you want to prepare Dal Makhni at home. You know this can aptly be prepared if all the ingredients needed for the recipe is of good quality. Technology for online tracking of ingredients helps you get the best quality of all that is needed to prepare Dal Makhni. It is important to enhance food traceability because of the rapidly growing awareness of food fraud. This will further lead to innovation in the food ecosystem.
The smart cameras
Leveraging AI integrated smart camera technologies can help detect food wastage in a commercial kitchen. The camera can also track each worker operating in the kitchen. For example, it can identify a person not wearing a uniform. This helps in ensuring safety measures. Also, the use of robotic machines in the giant commercial kitchens will help increase productivity in a limited time span.
Shifting from only food delivery business, the foodtech industry has been working on several fronts to deliver the best dining experience to a customer – be it at home or office. Thus, foodtech is weaving a new story for the future.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)