Blog>The Future of Tech in the Food Industry

The Future of Tech in the Food Industry

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It was great to hear from Yoyo, Revolution Bars, Tregothnan Teas, Vita Mojo, Pepper HQ, Nez and Harris + Hoole at the Tech Breakfast Event. Here’s a short blog about what we took away!

Any tea lovers reading this?

Did you know, you can grow tea in England?

I know, we were shocked too! Bella from Tregothnan Estate spoke at the event & told us all about it. Here’s what we learnt;

Tregothnan is a Cornish Estate based next to the River Fal. The estate grows Camellia sistentis.

They used to ancient practises in the business, but in the current climate, they need to be innovative & sustainable. So, they have turned to Technology to help them. Tregothnan, now a global e-commerce business, has websites specifically for different countries they sell to.

They offer virtual masterclasses & 360 immersive experiences using VR headsets (impressive aye?!) Technology also runs throughout their agriculture.

The company uses;

-Drones & robotics for plucking, cutting & bagging the tea.

-Digital mapping software to pinpoint areas of development

-What 3 words – to produce single row teas, helps Treg tell what tea it is.

What’s the future for Tech in Tea we hear you ask? It’s clear there is so much more to come, drinking tea will change dramatically over coming years.

-Nettle Tea will be BIG!

-Cold brewing, who would have thought?

Here I am, sitting in the office, raising my hot cuppa to 3,000 years & hopefully 3,000 more.

Enough with the tea, let’s talk about Customer Experience!

Let’s face it, customer expectations have changed & that means the customer experience has to keep up.

The Question:

How can tech help us to understand the consumer?

Well Marcus Oulds, the Chief Revenue Officer for YoYo, suggested that tech can help us be an enabler of change.

Marcus thinks it’s to do with data. Yes, data!

“83 % of us are willing to share data to enable a more personalised experience”

We also heard from Jo, the Senior Marketing Manager at Nez. She pointed out that;

  • Consumers want Variety

  • Operators want Insight

  • People want Personalisation

As a result of this research, Nez put some gamification into their loyalty schemes.

Okay, so it’s all about our data?

It’s not all down to us.

Nick Liddle from Vita Mojo, a restaurant software company, says F&B businesses need to go digital.

In order to transform the customer experience, operations & data for restaurant industry are important. Tech like this can be part of the solution to the challenges in the Food & Beverage Industry. We can’t forget about Digital. For example, digital ordering & digital menus in the restaurants – speed up sales growth over the peak period.

Look at how McDonald’s have mastered this with their digital ordering screens in-store.

Can there still be emotion involved?

Kate Eastwood, Head of Sales & Marketing for Revolution Bars mentions that having that emotional connection with the customer is important. Tech advances are great, but it’s crucial to ensure that tech is enhancing the emotional connection between provider & consumer.

Revolution Bars recently moved from the Rev Card (I remember having one of these at university!) to an App to enable them to understand the consumer better. This piece of tech provided Revolution with a larger amount of insights into their customers.

As a consumer myself, I want experience and convenience. It is great to see that brands are tapping into this.

Think about The Flight Club for example, this is a bar combining experience with Tech & it works! People love it.

Top Takeaways from the talk?

The hospitality sector has been slow to embrace tech, so much energy goes into Operations.

Data remains a fundamental part of improving for businesses in F&B Industry, because it data gives these businesses actionable insights & integrated feedback.

As a consumer myself, monitoring, shaping and personalisation of the customer journey is key to ensuring you build & maintain a loyal, excited, happy customer. One who will be an easy brand advocate!