Mentions of the internet of things within the filings of companies in the food manufacturing industry more than doubled year-on-year in the second quarter, data shows.

The number of mentions was 119% higher in the second quarter of 2022 than in Q2 of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to the internet of things between July 2021 and June 2022 was 227% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When food manufacturing companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. The internet of things is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether the internet of things is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of food manufacturing companies, two measures were calculated. GlobalData looked at the percentage of companies that have mentioned the internet of things at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 30% compared to 16% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to the internet of things.

Of the ten biggest employers in the food manufacturing industry, Wilmar International was the company that referred to the internet of things the most between July 2021 and June 2022. GlobalData identified four internet of things-related sentences in the Singapore-based company's filings - 0.16% of all sentences. Itochu mentioned the internet of things the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.12% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high internet of things mentions included Unilever, Grupo Bimbo and Associated British Foods.

Across all food manufacturing companies, the filing published in the second quarter of 2022 which exhibited the greatest focus on the internet of things came from Vinamilk. Of the document's 1,471 sentences, six (0.4%) referred to the internet of things.

GlobalData also categorises the internet of things mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2022 was 'industrial internet', which made up 61% of all internet of things subtheme mentions by food manufacturing companies.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on the internet of things and how important the issue is considered within the food manufacturing industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning the internet of things more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into the internet of things have been successes or failures.