Industry Insights · 14min read
10 Exciting Companies Digitalising the Food Supply Chain
Join us as we look at some of the industry’s most innovative players.
For as far back as we can remember, the bulk of the industry’s innovations and investments were geared towards the start and end of the supply chain, namely AgTech and end-consumers. In recent years, however, an increasing number of companies have begun identifying and tapping into the growing demand for more digitalisation along the entire food supply chain. Transparency, sustainability and safety are amongst some of the factors driving the emergence of new technologies, such as blockchain and IoT sensors.
From real-time tracking to data management, predictive maintenance to food flavours, we look at some of the exciting companies promoting digitalisation in our rapidly growing food supply chain.
Born as an innovative business from the University of Barcelona, Color Sensing is transforming the world of packaging with digital colour-analysis-based sensors. The company’s smart packaging, FoodSensing, presents an automatic, quantitative and cost-effective freshness indicator designed to help ensure foods’ quality and reduce food waste. ColorSensing prides itself in the high level of accuracy and objectivity of its sensors, thanks to the incorporation of real-time, traceable analytics.
Connecting Food is driven by the mission to provide all consumers with reliable and transparent information to build a level of trust based on solid proof of promises. The company develops digital transparency solutions to help build consumer trust and boost food quality across the industry.
Connecting Food’s platform is powered by blockchain—LiveAudit® is a fully digitalised audit module that verifies product information before publishing it in a web app for consumers. What sets LiveAudit® apart from the competition is that it can be used to verify all the specifications of a raw, semi-finished or finished product 24/7 in real-time, rather than simply on a batch-by-batch or ad-hoc basis.
fkon Consulting tailor-makes digital merchandise management systems harness SAP technology to promote food safety, transparency and efficiency. The digital fkon SAP merchandise management system also controls the connection of devices, specification and quality management, batch management and batch traceability, and laboratory and information and management systems. The result is a series of solutions that are working to transform food companies into digital pioneers.
One of fkon Consulting’s hero products is the user-friendly fkon-SAP-LIMS, a Laboratory Information and Management System (LIMS System) especially developed for the process industry designed to cover all requirements of a LIM system in a company. Benefits include reducing training, throughput times and manual activities and the ability to harness all activities under one single LIMS system sans the need for additional hardware platforms, software licenses and interfaces.
Genuine Way is a Business to Business for Consumer (B2B-4C) enterprise that specialises in developing and distributing blockchain-integrated solutions for small and middle-sized manufacturers of consumer goods.
Genuine Way uses its digital platform, ITEMx®, to promote connectivity between brands and consumers by analysing, notarising and publishing manufacturers’ supply chains. Genuine Way’s database is unique in that it focuses on eco-sustainable and socially impactful brands making it very attractive to a conscious customer base. Consumers are thus given access to certified and trusted data about brands while brands enjoy real-time traceability and consumer insights. The result is a win-win for actors along the entire supply chain.
IBM Food Trust
IBM Food Trust is one of the world’s largest networks for customised food solutions helping to remove supply chain inefficiencies, prevent food waste, increase food safety, strengthen branding and drive growth.
Businesses can select from a series of models based on their needs—the Trace promotes real-time traceability, effective management and food safety, the Documents module improves information along the supply chain, and the Insights module provides deep insights into efficiencies and analytics.
Read more about IBM Food Trust in our interview with Phillip Spaeti and Tatjana Maier.
This Swiss flavour digital hub start up was founded in 2018 with the vision of bringing data-driven flavour choices into the food ecosystem to provide an enhanced experience for both buyers and sellers via a standardised open sensory language. iSense’s strongest selling point is its unique commitment to transforming the taste industry, a subcategory of the food industry with substantial untapped potential due to its sheer size and significance within the F&B sphere.
iSense’s exciting range of interconnected software, sensory and analytics services includes iSense Toolkits™ which provide a standardised framework for measuring ingredient flavour tastes, Flavor Taste Assessments, a series of taste assessment methods, and iSense Digital Flavor Portal which comprises a flavour collection manager, a flavour marketplace and data and intelligence. With the help of these solutions, F&B manufacturers can keep costs at bay while driving new product development (NPD).
kaiosID is a smart, cloud-based traceability solution for consumer goods that authenticates and tracks and traces products with unique, hidden patterns that act as fingerprints. In doing so, kaiosID is helping combat counterfeiting in highly globalised supply chains where transparency and traceability can be a struggle. kaiosID’s tracking is invisible, can easily be integrated into packaging designs and production lines, and scanned with any smartphone. The result is a groundbreaking traceability solution that is helping brands build trust.
Hailing from Berlin, seedtrace is a pioneer in matters of sustainable consumption and product transparency. seedtrace has developed a platform where F&B manufacturers can upload product-specific insights and present them to their consumers in visually appealing and easily understandable ways, such as via their drag-and-drop supply chain visualisation tool.
Brands are thus able to highlight their unique selling points, such as social and environmental efforts, supply chain considerations and ingredient sources, in their communication. Digital product journeys, in-depth value chain mapping and smart consumer insights are just some of the exciting features that are helping impact companies become more competitive.
TE-FOOD is simplifying, accelerating and securing traceability with a range of tools and solutions for the food supply chain. These include the following: product identification and serialisation to collect information about customers and prevent counterfeiting; capturing data using the technology of your choosing; storing data with the help of secure and scalable blockchain technology; processing data to manage product recalls efficiently and enforce supplier farmers to work according to a unified production protocol; presenting data to improve consumer engagement and provide proofs for your claims.
In doing so, TE-FOOD helps F&B companies automate and optimise their supply chain processes, gives consumers access to more information about the food they consume and provides government bodies with access to real-time overview of the food market and monitoring. From smallholder farms to global corporations, TE-FOOD provides tailor-made solutions to businesses of all sizes.
Vestapack is at the forefront of smart and sustainable packaging solutions—clever and connected packages that automatically initiate environmentally friendly refills when empty. Customers are empowered to manage stocks with utmost economic and environmental efficiency. Continuous optimisation is fostered through data and analytics. Furthermore, fully mobile tracking solutions and state-of-the-art security guarantee a safe and transparent supply chain.
For further reading on emerging and established players in the food industry, check out our articles on 13 Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Solutions and 11 Inspiring Women in the Food Tech Industry.
Imagery: (1) Michael Diedzic via Unsplash, (2) Color Sensing, (3) fkon Consulting, (4) Genuine Way, (5) kaiosID, (6) Seedtrace, (7) TE-FOOD, (8) Vestapack | Videos: (1) Connecting Food - Blockchain for Food Transparency by Connecting Food, (2) Join the power of IBM Food Trust by IBM Blockchain, (3) iSense - Your Digital Flavor Marketplace Overview by ISense