How the Digital Transformation in the Food Industry is Changing the Way Businesses Operate

COVID-19 was the push many foodservice businesses needed to incorporate digitization into their business structure. However, digital transformation in the food industry is more than a survival technique during the pandemic. It is the key to success amidst advancing technology and emerging AI assistants in today’s modern society. Digital transformation is crucial to the survival of any business in the 21st century. Learn the details of these digital tools and how you can incorporate them to unlock new possibilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital transformation allows you to reach and connect to the new tech-savvy generation.
  • Digitization and using AI save you time and resources through streamlined processes.
  • You can improve each customer’s experience by using social media and business apps.
  • You will unify your business and enhance communication through cloud storage and automation.

Why Digital Transformation in the Food Industry is Necessary for Survival

Because of COVID-19, 44% of businesses are increasing the rate of their digital transformation. Some of the new technological advancements companies invest in include replacing old and outdated technology, refreshing their cycles with new technology, and reinforcing business growth through modern innovations in IT. Digital transformation also enables your business to keep up with competitors using new technology in the food industry while also reaching a new generation of tech-savvy consumers.

Top seven reasons businesses invest in new technology

Image from FinancesOnline

How Digital Transformation Benefits the Food and Beverage Industry

Technology in the food industry helps you stay on top of your daily tasks while meeting the growing demand for different types of food services, like delivery services. It also allows you to perform at the same level as food service businesses that already incorporate technology in their routine. Here are three specific benefits of digital transformation in the food industry.

Develops Personal Customer Connections

One estimation of consumer behavior averaged that 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers. You will want to invest the most time and energy into this loyal subset of customers. Technology makes relationship-building easier through advanced communication, improved customer experiences, and new opportunities to reward loyal customers.

Improves Your Productivity

Technology helps you complete your tasks more efficiently by performing manual jobs automatically. Automation also reduces the number of errors in the workplace, which will speed up your processes and help you make more accurate decisions. Here are a few specific examples of how technology improves your productivity:

  • Project tracking with deadline notifications to keep your business on schedule
  • Flexible work environments to allow for remote or multi-locational offices
  • Collaboration software to increase company communication
  • Inventory tracking and automated ordering
  • Customer kiosks and apps that allow customers to use self-service

Increases Your Revenue

Supply chain management is a challenge for the food industry in 2022 because of labor and supply shortages. However, you can overcome those issues using technology, which will help you meet your revenue goals. For example, AI will help you track and predict your supply needs to avoid overstocking or item shortages. AI can analyze consumer trends and proactively create supply orders to ensure you get the products you need in a timely manner. 

5 Ways to Digitally Transform Your Food Industry Business

Are you ready to see those benefits in your business? We explore five specific digital trends in the food industry that businesses can incorporate to remain competitive in today’s market. This list is not exhaustive but rather an inspiration of the potential for technology in your company.

1. Streamline Tasks with Artificial Intelligence

AI is leading the way in technological innovations in 2022, as 77% of devices already use at least one form of AI. Experts predict the number of AI-powered voice assistants will reach 8 billion by 2023. Chatbots and other AI customer service tools help you provide timely responses to your customers while freeing up your employees to perform different tasks within the company. AI can also take over mundane and repetitive jobs like data entry, supply management, and scheduling.

2. Unify your Business Through Cloud Storage

Unifying your business keeps each department updated on the latest company news while efficiently communicating their needs with each other. Technology can also improve your company’s collaboration through cloud storage in a centralized data platform. Your employees can access the same information no matter their department while simultaneously updating the platform with their latest data instead of scattering paperwork across offices and on several different computers.

3. Reach More Customers on Social Media

Seven out of ten Americans use social media, with YouTube and Facebook at the top. Your business can move forward in digitization by using your social accounts for more than just posting updates. They are also avenues to communicate with customers, hold virtual events, and reach new consumers. Restaurants will even use social media hashtags to promote their food or business pages to share their menu.

4. Enhance Customer Experience Through a Business App

About 62% of businesses have an app for customer support and engagement, revenue generation, and branding. The demand for apps increased over the past few years due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses developed apps that let customers create grocery lists, shop for food, read their menu, message the company, leave feedback, and track their sales. Here are a few other ways to use your food industry app to improve your business:

  • Allow customers to order food online
  • Let customers wait in a virtual queue
  • Offer an alternative way for restaurant guests to pay for their meal
  • Provide a medium for sharing coupons and sales directly with customers
  • Send notifications to customers or employees about company changes
  • Share information through QR codes

5. Improve Company Practices

Customers are asking for businesses to improve their sustainability and reduce their negative impact on the environment. Your business can leverage technology to create new solutions that reduce your carbon footprint while investing in the environment. For example, sustainable sourcing, green technology in food production, and participation in service projects are three ways you can move your company to an eco-friendlier future.

Most people agree it's more important to do good rather than do no harm.

Image from The Nature Conservancy

Move into the Digital Age of the Food Industry

Adopting new technology is a timely investment. You will not see results overnight. However, you will see tremendous growth in your business if you invest resources into digitizing your company and training your employees in the modern way of operating a business in the food industry.

Exhibit at our next event and learn more about the latest digital trends in the food industry.