Advancements in the food processing industry, innovation in processing technology and continuous growth in the demand for processed food are expected to support growth of food and beverage processing equipment, according to research revealed by MarketsandMarkets, Northbrook, Ill. With the growing preference for healthy food and functional foods, manufacturers are expected to adopt new equipment to fulfill the demand for healthy functional foods and beverages. Plus, the expansion of food manufacturing capacities and growth of the food processing industry in emerging economies will support growth of food and beverage processing equipment.

Rise in demand for meat, poultry, dairy, bakery and confectionery products

Meat processing involves a wide range of physical and chemical treatment methods, generally combining a variety of methods. Meat, poultry and seafood are the major applications of food and beverage processing equipment. In the last decade, the changing and busy lifestyles of consumers due to rapid urbanization led to high demand for processed and convenience meat products.

Growth in demand for processed and convenience foods

Rise in disposable income due to growth in the economy, especially in emerging countries such as India and China, has led to an increase in demand for convenience and processed foods. Developed economies have grown significantly in the last few years in terms of food manufacturing. The United States and Germany are advanced in food processing technology, and are experiencing slower growth in terms of revenue from the food processing industry. The higher demand for processed food in developing nations and higher consumption of convenience food, owing to the increasing working population, are expected to contribute to the growth of the food and beverage processing equipment market. According to a joint study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), India, and Grant Thornton, UK, India's food processing sector has the potential to attract $33 billion in investments by 2024 and has a scope for large investments in food processing technologies and processing equipment, as the total food production in India is estimated to double by 2024.

Increase in focus on production efficiency, processing time and quality of food products

With the rise in cost of raw materials for food, increase in labor cost and higher energy cost, end-product manufacturers are focusing on increasing production efficiency. This is required to reduce the wastage of food and beverage while processing and ensuring efficient utilization of raw materials. Furthermore, processors also focus on the reduction of energy consumption and opting for renewable energy to reduce production costs and increase profitability. Equipment suppliers are introducing various new food processing equipment that employ technologies such as non-thermal processing and UHT for food products.

Growth in demand for innovative food and beverage products

With the changing demand in terms of taste, nutrients, flavors and sources, manufacturers face complexity in production processes, which can be reduced through advanced equipment that can handle multiple ingredients and perform various functions across the processing line to fulfill the requirements of food and beverage manufacturers. The development of technologically advanced equipment that find multiple applications is likely to be of more relevance to food manufacturers due to changing consumer food preferences. As consumers have been demanding more varieties in food products, it is expected to drive the demand for processing equipment that offer crossover applicability.

Potential markets to invest

The growth of developing economies, rapid urbanization and globalization have led to more opportunities in countries where the demand for food is high, but the supply of quality food is lagging. This has resulted in the greater focus of food and beverage processing equipment manufacturers in developing economies such as Brazil, China, India, Argentina and Malaysia. Busier lifestyles and changing consumption patterns have led to an increase in demand for processed, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat food, which is expected to further fuel the demand for food and beverage processing equipment in these regions. For instance, several international companies have been investing in market entry and expansion in China, which is said to be the largest food importer in the world.

Technological innovations

To gain an edge over competitors, both domestic and international companies are focusing on innovating food and beverage processing equipment offering, by implementing innovative technologies and focusing on extended equipment life and lesser maintenance cost.