The New Era of Smarter Food

Updated: May 26

How the food industry is utilizing Big Data to make major upgrades

Today, the demand for transparency in the food supply chain has increased exponentially as the industry has grown complex and consumers are becoming more conscious of what they are consuming. We rely on various suppliers to deliver food, we require foods to be fresh and nutritious and tasty. Improper food safety regulation at any stage of the food supply chain could have serious consequences, for example in 2015, an outbreak of E.Coli in Chipotle restaurants caused the company to shut down operations temporarily in multiple U.S. states.

Epidemiologists had to get onboard to work backwards to determine what food item contained the strain and trace it back to its source. As a consequence, the company established higher food safety training and implementations. However, with such intricacies and scale, the food industry today requires innovative interventions to not only keep preventable food-borne contagions at bay, but also to stay up-to-date with customer preferences and emerging trends, improve transportation, pricing strategies, etc.. How can food manufacturers and retailers collect meaningful data that will provide the necessary insights? The answer is big data.

Big data weaves data from new sources like social media with traditional data sources, enabling a larger scope into a company's environment and providing significant value. Big data works well in the food industry, as it enables companies to track the growth rate of competitors, monitor prices, track ingredients, determine proper storage methods, and so on.

The way we grow, produce, process, distribute, and consume can all be tracked with big data, and create links to areas such as diet and health and certain foods to health risks or diseases. Let's dive in to some exciting opportunities big data has to offer the food industry. We are looking at the following changes; agriculture, improved customer experience, smart labeling, improving food delivery and personalized nutrition.

Big Data Increasing Crop Yield

The farming industry can benefit from big data via sensors, irrigation data, historical data from soil and weather patterns, what types of pesticides are used and so on. Understanding patterns and correlations can increase crop yield, minimizing loss and costs and