Food manufacturers need to get serious about smart technology in order to stay connected with consumers, according to the latest report from FUTURES, the new service from just-food.

Meaningful connections: The future of smart technology in food and drink, the latest FUTURES report, compiled by US-based grocery expert Victor Martino, investigates the dawn of the ‘what we want, when we want it’ age, and how this shift in consumer attitudes towards smart technology will change from farm to fork.

FUTURES editor Lucy Britner said: “As consumers invite smart appliances into their homes, and grocers look to smart tech to help with efficiency, the entire process from raw materials to the end consumer will continue to become more connected.

“Brands will have to form strategic alliances with smart appliance companies, as well as omnichannel retailers in order to connect with consumers in their homes. 

“Companies will also have to weigh up the impact of evolving AI and the plethora of choice for consumers when it comes to brand loyalty, personalisation, and shopper motivation.”

The report is the fifth in the FUTURES series of future insights reports, designed to look at what will disrupt the food and drinks industries and offer insight into what businesses can start to do now.

The new report puts forward five megatrends driving connected technology; presents a case study from enterprise software company SAP; analyses the companies driving innovation; and suggests five things food and drinks companies can start to do now on smart technology.

FUTURES was launched in October 2018 by just-food parent company Aroq. The service covers topics from new technologies to emerging consumer trends. The first edition studies the growth of autonomous grocery delivery and how it is likely to impact the food and drinks industries, while the second edition explores the world of cannabis in food and drinks. Report number three looks at the possibility of a world without plastic and number four investigates the future of personalised nutrition. 

Visit the just-food FUTURES microsite to download the latest report  – and the previous four – for free