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The Future of Food Logistics

by Mary Rooney | May 05, 2021

Article from Food Logistics Magazine

From automation, robotics and wearables to an influx of direct-to-consumer, micro-fulfillment and sustainability, the future of food logistics is turning digital.

Many food and beverage companies have turned recent supply chain challenges into opportunities to improve their processes, mitigate risks, enhance products and do good business overall.

In response to an explosion in grocery eCommerce, grocers are radically revamping their stores and strategies to meet a dramatically different kind of consumer demand. Many are utilizing automation like robotics at micro-fulfillment centers, also known as dark stores, which are automated grocery distribution facilities located inside grocery stores.

The increase in direct-to-consumer business within the food supply chain has also prompted grocery retailers to rethink how product is moved from warehouse to store and back.

Retailers must embrace alternative technologies like a mobile retail system that is basically a traveling grocery store, artificial intelligence and analytics to sense and respond to disruptions faster and leverage strategies for accelerating the number of perishable products they purchase, as well as other digital supply chain technologies such as machine learning, wearables, smart warehousing and more.

Many believe we are entering the era of Grocery 2.0 or food eCommerce 2.0. This is the idea that as consumers become more accustomed to the convenience of ordering online, they will expect more from their grocery stores, restaurants and other food and beverage providers. To create a true omnichannel experience, food and beverage companies will need to harness the data that the recent online boom has provided to these companies to create experiences that meet each individual consumer's needs and preferences, getting increasingly specific with online innovations.

Other trends impacting the food industry include: grocery retail decentralization, capacity squeeze for cold storage, sustainable packaging and improving the last-mile experience.

Read more from Food Logistics Magazine

Learn about the Kansas City Food & Beverage Industry and the upcoming KC SmartPort Annual Industry Briefing, KC Delivers, that will focus on the top trends in the food & beverage industry.

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