The second edition of ProFood Tech (March 26-28, McCormick Place, Chicago) opens today amid ongoing technology developments and increasing levels of automation in the food and beverage processing machinery market, according to the Taste of Processing Trends Around the World white paper produced by one of the show producers, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
“We took the feedback we got from the attendees of our first show, and we flipped the show model upside down to take a different approach,” says Michael Dykes, president and CEO of International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “Now we have all of the educational sessions and presentations on the show floor and everything is free to attendees. The idea is to engage and be interactive and making sure everyone is involved.”
As the only processing trade show in North America that addresses all market sectors, ProFood Tech welcomed 7,000 professionals from all food and beverage processing markets. Produced by three of the world’s trade show leaders, PACK EXPO, Koelnmesse (organizer of Anuga) and IDFA, the three-day event showcases cutting-edge crossover technologies and innovative solutions from 400 exhibitors over 125,000 net square feet of exhibit space.
The world market for food and beverage processing machinery is estimated to be growing at a CAGR of 5.5 percent from $47.4 billion in 2017 to $58.1 billion in 2020, according to the PMMI white paper. Similarly, the world market for automation equipment in food and beverage machinery is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.2 percent to $4.4 billion by 2020, faster than the total production of food and beverage processing machinery. Factors driving this growth include convenience, changing consumer tastes toward healthier options, a renewed focus on food safety, and the rise of smart manufacturing and digital transformation. ProFood Tech will showcase critical food and beverage industry trends like the increase in automation.
“The landscape of food and beverage processing is very different than what we saw 10 years ago,” says Jorge Izquierdo, vice president, market development, PMMI. “Food safety is the No. 1 driver of trends in this industry. Consumer trends, in terms of convenience, and the increased interest in health and wellness are also changing the way food and beverages are processed.”
Izquierdo also noted that the emphasis of equipment has moved from plain throughput to fast changeover, which has also spurred and increased demand for flexible manufacturing. With the Food Safety Modernization Act, there is also a need for cleaning technologies that make it faster and easier to clean equipment, and an enhanced focus on hygienic design. The skills gap and decreasing availability of talent also creates a challenge for food processors and more automation is needed not to eliminate jobs, but to fill them. Robotics are also making their way into food processing as they have become easier to clean and especially helpful in harsh environments where it is even harder to find skilled operators.
ProFood Tech’s free educational program, the Knowledge Hub, produced by IDFA, will offer a targeted range of learning experiences in three separate venues on the show floor. The program will address pressing business challenges with fresh ideas and strategies from respected leaders in the food and beverage industry, discussions on best practices and deep dives into consumer trends that are changing the food and beverage landscape.
- The Impact Zone encourages interactive discussions and offers opportunities to learn from the experiences and successes of industry colleagues.
- The Innovation Zone features breakthrough technologies, ideas and formulations designed to spark creativity, help find solutions and uncover fresh opportunities.
- The Disruption Zone delivers a lineup of sessions for professionals to learn more about implementing disruptive technologies to meet consumer demands.
“We have successfully created a business platform through ProFood Tech for the food and beverage processing space in a way that differentiates it from packaging trade shows and other events for this industry,” says Anne Schumacher, vice president, trade fair management, Koelnmesse.