Although first coined in 1956, it is only in recent times that Artificial Intelligence (AI), has become one of the most sought after technologies. Poised to become a billion-dollar industry by 2025, its possibilities are endless for individuals, businesses, and technologists. Furthermore, it is speculated that three quarters of all apps will be using AI by the end of 2021. Taking stock of this, sectors from finance to e-commerce and even retail, have actively begun adopting the technology, to leverage the power of machine and data.
In a similar manner, the food and beverage (F&B) industry, has embraced AI with open arms, to meet the high labour and service standards expected of it. Through AI, the industry is also looking at enhanced supply chain management, marketing, research and development operations, in a bid to take the sector to the next level.
The use of AI in the F&B sector also comes on the back of growing consumer demands, to keep up with the fast pace. As enterprises across the spectrum are continually challenged by the changing global trends, AI plays a key role in ensuring compliances are met, and standards related to food and safety processes are adhered to. Additionally, AI in the F&B sector is also widely used across manufacturing lines, to guide equipment, thereby increasing productivity, and minimising wastage, two key challenges, which the sector has faced.
Supply chain management too, a delicate process in the F&B sector, has seen a marked improvement with the introduction of AI. Preventing foodborne diseases is one of the top most priorities for any F&B player, and is a major part of the handling and supply chain management process. Here’s where AI has stepped in. From temperature control to handling foods which have a limited shelf-life, the industry has definitely used this to their advantage. One way in which is being done, is by studying the genetic code of food micro biomes. What this then does is creates tools that can detect anomalies that are possible food safety hazards, to alert the company, and mitigate a possible disaster. Moreover, through the use of AI, these operations, which are largely cost oriented such as inventory, and maintaining quality of food can be streamlined to minimise losses.
With this, and more, it is clear that the future of the F&B industry lies in AI, for increased efficiency. Technology has, in fact, already created waves across the sector. Takeaways, cloud kitchen services and more, are fast gaining popularity among users for their ease of operations, as well as the multitude of options available at the click of a button. This has also started to catch up with the travel food industry that makes use of data and algorithms to better understand customers and their preferences. And if the current rate at which AI is penetrating the market is anything to go by, it won’t be long before we can see a time when it will forecast what a customer will be ordering in the future, as well as predict sales trends.
It is no wonder then, that is rightly said that innovation is the backbone of development, and this holds true not just for the F&B sector, but for the economy at large, that will benefit from the use of technology. Coupled with increasing globalisation of ideas, and increased expectations from customers, AI has now become a necessity among brands to think outside the box, and rope in innovative methods that will propel their growth in the years to come.