Food Manufacturing In 2024 – Raising The Bar

Written by Tony Hacker

The food manufacturing industry here in the UK is extremely competitive, and staying ahead of the curve is not just a strategy but a necessity. As we move into 2024, the landscape is still evolving at an unprecedented rate, and businesses need to rethink their approach towards every aspect of the production process.

As mentioned in a recent article, packaging is a stage that can often be overlooked, despite it holding a number of opportunities for the improvement of your business. So in today’s article, we’ll delve deeper into the transformative power of packaging automation, relating specifically to food manufacturers who are not only looking to keep up with the growing industry, but who aim to increase their market share and outpace competition in the near future.


Why Does The Bar Need To Be Raised?

Not only does your business need to continue generating a healthy profit, it also faces constant challenges that could seriously impact your ability to stay afloat. Whilst there’s obviously a broad spectrum of considerations that need to be made, here are a few that will take centre stage in 2024 and the next 5-10 years:


  • Food hygiene – there is relentless pressure on food manufacturers to provide safe products that withstand the wear and tear of transportation and supermarket shelves. At a time where food health regulations continue to get stricter, ensuring the quality and longevity of your food product is so important.


  • A growing population – the UK population alone is projected to grow by more than 2.1 million in the next 10 years, leaving food manufacturers with increasing demand. That’s all well and good if the business can handle it, but failing to keep up or to maintain quality could see you suffocated by competitors.


  • Increasing costs – you don’t need us to say it, but costs are increasing everywhere you look. Costs for ingredients, costs for staff, costs for energy, costs for materials – it’s all going up and it doesn’t want to stop. It’s crucial to your success as a business that when and where you can, costs are cut.


Involving Packaging Automation At The Right Time

The key to all of these issues lies in utilising packaging automation at the right time, which we’ve seen have profound impacts on the costs of businesses and their ability to increase output without losing quality.


Uncompromised Food Hygiene

Packaging plays a pivotal role in ensuring the quality and longevity of food items, especially during transportation and shelf life. Often, it’s external influences that sees food items go to waste – whether it’s something getting into the product that shouldn’t, or damage to the product that makes it unsellable.

By embracing packaging automation early in your processes and taking advantage of the deep knowledge and insight that automation experts can provide, you not only meet regulatory standards but also elevate the hygiene and safety profile of your products. Automation ensures consistency and precision, reducing the risk of damage and contamination and safeguarding your brand’s reputation.


Meeting the Demands of a Growing Population

Keeping up with escalating demand can be a tricky challenge, but it doesn’t need to be. Plus, as mentioned above, succeeding to do so establishes you as a leader in a competitive market.

Packaging automation allows for scalable and efficient processes, ensuring that your production line is equipped to handle increased demands seamlessly. Proactive technology can even help you to manage any seasonal changes quickly without wasting costs on unnecessary output. By automating packaging, you not only maintain product quality regardless of increases in output, but also position your business to thrive amidst intensifying competition.


Mitigating the Impact of Rising Costs

The relentless rise in costs across numerous elements of production poses a significant threat to your business’s profitability. In such a climate, cost-cutting becomes a crucial aspect of sustaining success. This is where manual packaging systems can create serious issues, preventing the business from scaling effectively.

Involving packaging automation experts as early as possible in your process enables your business to take advantage of important technologies that prove instrumental in reducing labour costs, minimising material wastage, and optimising your resources. By implementing automation solutions, you are able to enhance operational efficiency and create an effective buffer against the financial strains posed by increasing costs.


In the face of evolving challenges like stringent food hygiene regulations, a growing population, and escalating costs, food manufacturers need proactive strategies in order to survive. Packaging automation is a powerful tool, addressing these issues head-on. Early involvement of packaging automation and collaboration with packaging experts position your business to raise the bar and set the standard in the competitive UK market.