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5 Trends to Be Aware of in the Food and Beverage Industry


"I'd say In about ten years, you won' t see a leather conveyor belt In a food manufacturing processing plant,," says Larry Hecker, CBT Belting Specialist. Reasons for the drift away from leather conveyor belting include difficulty cleaning, shorter lifespans due to friction between belt and pulley drive, elevation and difficulty centering the belt on the conveyor. Hecker says more manufacturers are introducing more modular belts, mainly for their longer life, ease of cleaning, and sleeker design. Crystal Macklin, an inside sales representative echoes Hecker's observation. Food processing plants are more likely to lean toward more hygienic solutions.

"That's one of the reasons a lot of raw food manufacturers moved away from fabric-based belts,  she explains. "If you have a modular plastic belt, that's less likely to break and get into your food than a fabric belt." Thinking long-term. Macklin also says there has been a shift to blue belts. -Very little of our food supply is blue,
so it gives manufacturers an easy way to quickly identify if a belt has contaminated the product.


Another trend in the industry is the ability to respond quickly to customers· demands. Brian Melcher, CBT Account Manager, references the current bourbon boom as a prime example. Bottling plants, especially within the Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky region. must account for this streak and plan accordingly. "It's a shifting market," says Melcher. "Why suddenly bourbon? They're adding warehouses."

In March of 2022, Europe and Great Britain dropped American bourbon tariffs, and export sales are seeing an immediate increase because of the ability to stock products. Understanding industry trends and responding to them quickly can lead to a surplus of shipments available for increased demand. Over the past few years. consumers have shown how fickle they are by easily replacing desired items if they are unavailable on shelves or online.


Nationwide we are seeing a rise in the popularity of variety packs. This trend affects drinks of all kinds. including flavored waters. craft beers. juices, sodas, and even children's beverages.

"You have to get in quick because they are fad-based," comments Melcher.

Beverage manufacturers, now more than ever. require machines that are highly flexible in all aspects of production and are able to handle a wide variety of
product formulas.


A highly-important trend Food and Beverage companies are focusing on includes foods specifically designed for convenience and portability. Today's busy schedules often prevent traditional sit-down meals, leading to the necessity for food that can be eaten quickly and at any time.

"Consumers remain chronically short on time and patience despite a pervasive, always-connected lifestyle - or maybe because of it. They want easy access to food and beverages, and they want it immediately," says gave the example of a large food manufacturing company that allowed users to eat a single-serve bowl of cereal and milk by only using a bottle of cold water. Reaching consumers who travel to work or school has been a longtime challenge for cereal manufacturers. This new product presents an easy solution for breakfast as bottled water is much more available than milk.


Lastly, there is an increase m the diversity of flavors. For example, within the pizza industry, there are emerging flavors such as those featuring orange chicken, buffalo-style chicken with bacon. and cheesesteak, says

"Classic toppings like pepperoni and sausage still reign supreme. but consumers are increasingly interested in new varieties as well," says

Need to update your factory floor or application to meet the always-changing demands of manufacturing? Contact one of our focused and highly-skilled CBT specialists to get started.
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