The food industry gathers at the Anuga FoodTec trade fair
Every three years, the Anuga FoodTec trade fair in Cologne brings together food and beverage manufacturers, equipment suppliers, researchers and other actors from across the food industry. The Anuga FoodTec trade fair is a great place to get to know the key decision makers in food production, see the latest innovations and the most interesting visions of the future.
As has been the case at previous trade fairs, MKT also had their own section at the event – thank you once again to all of our guests. During the fair, we had many interesting discussions on for example the current state and the latest trends in cheese production and the equipment’s need to adapt to these. Now that all of these thoughts have had a moment to simmer it is time to write them down and share them with everyone interested in making cheese.
Lessons from Anuga FoodTec
1. The pace at which equipment manufacturers are introducing new innovations to the food industry is accelerating
According to several studies, the food industry is not the fastest industry in terms of taking up new product and production innovations and technologies. However, I believe that this is changing rapidly as digitalization, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence will create interesting opportunities to enhance and improve food production. Certainly, even the food industry will be encouraged by the many examples from other industries and use technology in newer and broader areas.
Walking around the exhibition floor it was interesting to note that most of the exhibited solutions were rather traditional, while at the same time, many of the producers were also presenting new technologies, or at least vision thereof.
MKT’s cheese manufacturing equipment and product development is a great example of how we want to be at the forefront of this development. MKT’s solutions will increasingly emphasize the importance of automation, robotics as well as the use of artificial intelligence in monitoring and optimizing the production process.
2. Innovative start-up companies challenge traditional actors in the food industry
FoodTech 4.0 and new food production models are some of the most significant global trends. These reflect globalization, health and well-being, and simply the fact that the limits of our current resources are becoming apparent. That is why there are many new start-ups in the industry that bring their know-how and new technology to the market. This also creates new opportunities for equipment manufacturers to think about production technology and concepts from a completely new perspective. I believe that the current development that has started in the food sector is only a prelude to many great opportunities to come. I also think that cooperation between large food businesses and start-ups will increase in the future.
At MKT, we currently cooperate closely with our customers in the development of new cheese production concepts, and we believe that working together with the other technology vendors in the industry we will be able to accomplish more.
3. The future of the industry and major changes were well represented at the seminars
While the approach to food production displayed in the exhibition hall was rather traditional, there were many signs of the future throughout the trade fair. These resonated particularly throughout Anuga FoodTec’s extensive and comprehensive seminar program. As I was attending the fair for the first time, I had not anticipated the great quality of the seminar program. I would strongly encourage all of those interested in the development of food production and technology to also spend some time at these seminars.
Already when browsing the themes of the seminars, topics such as digitalization, new foods and nutrients, health and emissions issues were clearly important topics for the food industry. Lectures addressed questions such as how digitalization can be better utilized in food production, what kind of opportunities are offered by new food products and how to reduce the carbon footprint of the food industry. The seminars clearly presented a future vision of the food industry and hence also the future of the cheese sector.
The Anuga FoodTec 2018 trade fair served MKT’s goals and gave us a good idea of where the food industry is developing currently, what kind of equipment solutions are currently on offer, and what the developments will be in the future. It is clear that industry digitalization and development are accelerating.
Personally, I believe that FoodTech 4.0 will be an important field in the future and it will create many opportunities. In cheese production, particular emphasis should be placed on flexibility, the ability to produce several cheeses as needed and on demand, efficiency, the anticipation and optimization of production processes, and, of course, ever-increasing quality and hygiene requirements. These challenges can be met in the future through automation, robotics and artificial intelligence – as well as continuous understanding of customer goals and needs. This will be the sustainable basis of the future.
Food trends are changing at an accelerating pace and we will be seeing more and more food innovations. New types of food products and innovations will require new types of equipment solutions. This opens up opportunities for not only cheese production, but also for all machine and equipment manufacturers. At MKT, we want to be at the forefront of these developments and, thus, we are investing in innovation, the industry’s best research and development and an understanding of our customers’ current needs and their future opportunities.
CEO High Metal Oy / MKT Dairy
For more information: petri.kalliokoski [at] mkt-dairy.fi