From ghost restaurants filled with robots to smart ovens that can read recipes, food technology will continue to evolve in 2019
Automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to be an important part of the industry next year. In addition, consumers will be able to influence food technology trends through their preferences and shopping habits.
The number of ghost restaurants, also known as delivery-only restaurants, will continue to increase in 2019. These establishments exist only to cook and deliver food to customers who place online orders. Although you cannot pick up orders directly because there are no storefronts, consumer demand heavily influences ghost restaurants. As customers ask for faster deliveries, these businesses will turn to more automation and robots for efficiency. Changes will include robots that flip burgers and manage the grill to AI programs that decide which part of the meal to cook first and automatically reorder ingredients.
Zina Mavroeidi, the CEO of e-Fresh, shares, “Consumers are in a position to set new requirements when it comes to their own customer experience. Fast deliveries will be topped by a request for increased accuracy and freshness in orders, which comes with the support of specialized software,” Mavroeidi explains.
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Smart ovens will continue to multitask and replace several appliances in the kitchen. For instance, the June oven combines a convection oven, dehydrator, air fryer, slow cooker, warming drawer, broiler and toaster in one machine. Preprogrammed ovens that let you simply select the meal you want to create will also increase. As the technology expands, you can expect to see smart ovens that can read recipes and automatically create the dish by using augmented reality applications to recognize individual ingredients.
“Industry leaders need to stay on top of these trends while monitoring how consumers react to new features developed using AI and machine learning. Emerging players and legacy companies will focus on quality training, R&D investment and trial and error encouragement. Industry leaders can also expect new vertical alliances as customers showcase their preference for the new offerings,” explains Mavroeidi.
From big chain restaurants to independently owned cafes, businesses are collecting your personal data and are hungry for more of it. By using AI, companies can mine the data for food trends and consumer habits. They can extract information and use it to develop new products or change current items.
“During 2018, we have seen a growing and more sophisticated use of AI technologies in e-commerce. I believe that this trend will continue as the quality of information feeding those algorithms improves and data volumes increase,” says Mavroeidi. “Furthermore, we will see more local companies try to disrupt global dominance in the food delivery and retail categories, specifically in Europe. Regional European businesses have an opportunity to deliver personalized experiences on a large scale and provide the much-desired convenience to their customers.”
In 2019, you can expect to see AI, automation and robotics play a large role in the food industry. Smaller companies will try to compete with larger establishments by using this technology to their advantage.
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