Technology has come a long way in terms of broadening the scope of robotics in various sectors. Today, robots are being adopted in the food industry for handling food processing, pelletizing, and packaging. Automated robots reduce dependency on manual labor, the time associated with accomplishing repetitive tasks, and the margin for error. In food processing, these robots are capable of handling the entire cycle, right from seed planting and crop harvesting to the production, packaging, and transportation of food.
In the food industry, robots serve various purposes such as kinematics, hygiene, financial transactions, human-robot interactions, safety and protection, and the operation and maintenance of critical tasks. While robots are deployed in multiple areas in the food industry, food serving remains a rapidly emerging aspect of immense significance.
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Rising demand has compelled makers to develop robotics for enhanced productivity. The last two decades have seen phenomenal advancements in robotics, and more than 1.3 million industrial robots have been installed since 2015. As technology continues to grow, more compact, specific, and lightweight robots will be introduced in the market. In light of these factors, the food robotics market is pegged to be in the growth of its lifecycle at present.
Increasing government regulations regarding food safety are driving the global market. The expanding health-conscious consumer base globally is demanding processed foods, accelerating the demand for robots and automation in the food industry. The flexible nature of robots and their ability to work long hours without breaks have broadened their applications in palletizing, processing, and packaging.
The food industry — including dairy, meat processing, and packaged and canned food storage — is growing on account of the ever-growing population, rising health-consciousness, and changing lifestyles and preferences. Robots are specifically being deployed in dairy and meat processing sectors to reduce human contact and maintain hygiene and sanitation.
On the flip side, a lack of skilled workforce, the high cost of sensors and peripheral devices, and maintenance charges are some of the key challenges deterring the growth of the market. However, rising food safety concerns and the efficient time and energy-saving features of robots are expected to bring in new opportunities for the market to grow in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific is expected to register the highest CAGR in the global food robotics market, owing to the increasing prevalence of various diseases and the subsequent rise of health consciousness in the region. In urban areas, a time-bound lifestyle has created the need for stored and canned food items with a longer shelf life. Robots can be deployed in cafeterias in the form of vending machines that help store canned products.
Governments initiatives are further aiding such initiatives in Asia-Pacific. Manufacturers and suppliers in China, Japan, and India are focusing on providing quality products while reducing the cost of production, which is anticipated to contribute to the regional food robotics market growth in the coming years.
North America’s market is expected to grow at a notable pace in the coming years. The region is home to numerous global key players, and its large geriatric population seeks a balanced diet. The U.S., Canada, and Mexico are largely deploying upgraded technologies in restaurants and bars to serve customers better. Also, the region is a business and tourist hub, and thus, many cuisines remain popular.
The proper and hygienic packaging of food items is crucial; therefore, the EU government and agencies such as the Food and Agricultural Organization are encouraging the concept of secondary packaging of foods and beverages in Europe. The adoption of repackaging, including stretch wrapping, case packing, carton packing, and taping, is expected to further drive the growth of the market in Europe.
Brazil’s sales of industrial robotic units increased threefold between 2015 and 2019 as per the International Federation of Robotics. A similar pattern has also been observed in robotics for the food and beverage industry. Such numbers are expected to greatly contribute to the region’s revenue growth and emergence in the global market.
Some of the key end-users of the food robotics market include drinks and beverages, poultry, and seafood, dairy, bakery, fruits and vegetables, confectionery, and others. The drinks and beverages industry is expected to witness a significant growth rate in years to come due to the extensive adoption of robotics in brewing beer and other drinks worldwide.
The packaging is a crucial task in the beverage industry, where robots help in the packaging and labeling of glasses, bottles, and jars. The poultry and seafood industry is expected to record the second-highest growth rate, owing to demanding applications such as the defeathering, deboning, cutting, and packaging of meat. Robots are also used in the sorting, grading, peeling, and cleaning of products.
The use of high-end robots has significantly increased in the U.S. since approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The fruits & vegetable sector is also anticipated to witness a significant growth rate in applications such as cold storage where robots are used to maintain freshness and preserve food quality for a long time.