The food industry was witnessing an unprecedented growth in India and worldwide until the outbreak of COVID-19 or the Novel Coronavirus earlier this year undid all the impressive growth stats in a matter of only few months. The spiralling effects of COVID-19 stalled almost every business sector raising uncertainties on when normalcy will resume. With lockdown after lockdowns leading to economic slump and arresting growth, businesses need to be a lot more innovative and inventive of new business models, and how best operational costs can be curbed under uncertain times, with every business doing everything it can under the sun to reduce operational costs and improve overall efficiency.
Food & Beverages (F&B) growth:
Let’s see some numbers that have been driving the food industry:
# Revenue in the F&B segment is expected to hit US$224,392 million in 2020.
# Revenue is slated to reach an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) of 10.6%, leading to projected market volume of US$336,254 million by 2024.
# User penetration is nearly 14 per cent in 2020, and is slated to touch 22.8 per cent by 2024.
# The average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to achieve US$215.42.
Post COVID-19 outbreak:
The outbreak of COVID-19 has put the food industry in the doldrums. It is to be seen how this industry would revive its fortunes in the coming months. Food safety and hygiene have been two watchwords around which the food industry will evolve in the coming years. The disinclination of the public to dine in restaurants, and order food online fearing social transmission of the virus has only made matters worse. The food industry has to shift gears to restore public confidence and revive its fortunes. For that to happen, only technology, and the optimal use of it, can turn the tables.
The rise of the machines:
The growth of food delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Swiggy, Zomato, etc has been fuelling the growth engine of the food industry. Most food startups use these services to deliver food to their customers, thereby streamlining their operation, and focussing on their core day-to-day functions. As per a research study on food delivery market by Allied Market Research, the market for mobile delivery apps will hit $16.6 billion in 2023. Further analysis showed that the food delivery market was valued at about $3.7 billion in 2017. The market is slated to grow the fastest at 28 per cent by 2023.
In 2017, Grubhub had amassed $4 billion in gross sales, whilst UberEats recorded 8.7 million active users as of the first quarter in 2017, although the app is a new entrant in the food delivery space.
Challenges facing the F&B industry:
Before we deal with the subject in hand, it is important we discuss some of the challenges confronting the F&B industry
# The need to produce fresh, natural, and whole foods, as processed foods have seen a dip in consumption not just in the US but in other parts of the world as well.
# The health and safety of consumers come first, and hotels, restaurants and industrial canteens have already started to invest considerably in this area, and come out with cleaner label and stringent health standards.
# Consumers expect restaurants to use organic and natural ingredients, similar to home-made masalas that are freshly grounded, powered and extracted instantly for use.
# Direct customer relationship is a tough road ahead unless F&B brands don’t deploy the right technology to track processes, outcome, etc.
# The ban on certain sweeteners and condiments with coloured flavouring agents, though appreciable, must be replaced with their organic counterparts to maintain the quality and consistency of food products.
# Setting up commercial kitchens and central kitchens can be both capital as well as labour intensive for many F&B brands. However, the good news is that they are available on a rental or lease basis for everyday operation.
# On-time delivery is an important trait that the food industry must adhere to religiously. This can be only achieved through standard processes supported by technological systems.
# Finally, having the right commercial kitchen equipment for every process possible can save up on valuable time, labour and resources. Still more, training your staff in optimizing performance using commercial kitchen machines can drastically increase the bottom-line.
Importance of commercial kitchen equipment:
We discussed some of the issues confronting the food industry in general. Commercial kitchen equipment is the lifeline of today’s modern kitchen including central kitchens that have evolved significantly to cater to the growing needs of restaurants, hotels, industrial canteens and cafes.
Commercial kitchen equipment is generally built for durability and heavy-duty applications. As a number of processes in any commercial kitchen including pre-preparation, cooking, quick service, dish and warewashing, food processing, baking and meat-preparation require machines that display versatility, commercial kitchen machines prove indispensable here. Therefore, it’s important to select the right commercial kitchen equipment manufacturer or food processing equipment manufacturer that is reliable, with proven expertise in the installation of machines and consistent after-sales support.
Commercial kitchen equipment finds multi-range applications in hotels & restaurants, catering companies, hospital kitchens, institutions, QSR chains, industrial canteens, cafes, bakery, bars and RTE and RTC for high volume and batch processing, cooking and storage. It can handle the toughest of tasks with an ergonomic design and display system, with a few that can even be integrated with an ERP software solution to keep track of production volume and planning.
The most common commercial kitchen equipment includes bakery equipment, cooking equipment, storage equipment, chappati machine, fryers, meat processing machines, juice & coffee machines, rotisseries & multisseries, toasters & holding cabinets, food processing equipment, cooking mixer, griddles & kebab machines, dishwasher, masala grinders, vegetable processing machine, ovens and many more. Most processes require one of these commercial kitchen machines, or a combination of one or two equipment to produce the required output. Also, check out if commercial kitchen appliances are constructed of superior grade Stainless Steel (SS) material that are sturdy, durable and completely hygienic as they display anti-corrosion properties for extended use. They can also withstand the wear and tear due to prolonged use.