Food & Beverage Asia Dec 2018/ Jan 2019

PROCESSING AND PACKAGING 39 become more aware of food safety and more curious about how their foods are being sourced and screened. Discerning ‘foodies’ will even be able to check information about the origins and nutritional value of produce, and to see suggestions for recipes and food pairings. This will attract and addict greater numbers of customers while cleverly making each one feel as if they are being treated individually. The ad-hoc demand created through these online ‘nudges’ will challenge the traditional food supply change. Processing lines will need to know in precise detail what is coming in from the ̬eld and what is in storage in order to meet demand. And quality and safety standards will have to be higher than ever. In the past, consumers might have ignored a defect or made a complaint only seen by the grocery chain or food manufacturer, but social media will change that. A photo of something like a frog in a bag of lettuce can quickly go viral and global, reaching enough people to cause brand damage. Technology to Ensure Quality and Safety These opportunities and threats mean that machines produced by TOMRA, the leading provider of optical food sorting and peeling equipment, will play an increasing role in meeting customers’ expectations and protecting suppliers’ reputations. Grading and inspection equipment – at point-of- origin, prior to shipment to the supermarket, or from the on-line dispatching warehouse – can ensure the produce has the desired size and ripeness without bruising or mould. In addition, sorting equipment at di ̫ erent stages in the supply chain will be able to provide essential information on sizing, quality and other quality markers. In readiness for these needs, the sorting machines made by TOMRA Group are being enabled to share data to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety. These machines are also being ̬ne-tuned in data- gathering and application to help processors pick the correct incoming material, to get to the ̬nal product in the most e ̮ cient way. Traditional supermarkets ̬ght back against the online disruptors – and information about shoppers’ preferences and habits will be an important weapon. Consumer- facing technologies, such as shopping-cart- mounted devices or smartphone apps, will steer shoppers towards the aisles and shelves where they are more likely to make purchases. Sensors in the store’s shelves will keep track of the items customers put in their carts and bill their mobile payment system as they exit the store. This live data will enable supermarkets to rely to a greater extent on ‘just-in-time’ stock deliveries, minimising the cost and space of keeping stock on site. Live data will also help suppliers make the packaging and transportation of foods more time-e ̮ cient. Supermarkets and specialised grocery stores will have the option of reducing on-site running costs by becoming smaller, while dedicating a larger proportion of their shelves to displaying fresh produce. Another likelihood is that supermarkets will remain the same size but change in concept, becoming destinations for click and mortar shopping. Because retailers need to o ̫ er consumers a consistent omnichannel experience, stores will connect the physical and digital worlds. Here, consumers can see and feel products they might order online. Here, too, the online product o ̫ ering could also be accessible via interactive screens. These changes align with the forecast growth in consumer demand for healthier, high-quality produce, more choice, and greater convenience – a demand which will increase massively as household incomes rise in developing nations, bringing 70 million more people globally into the middle-class every year. )%$

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