Panasonic Corporation of North America has conducted an industry survey, considering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on foodservice businesses.
It reveals that one in four foodservice companies or food retailers now view their company as ‘tech-forward early adopters’, up from one in eight prior to the pandemic.
A similar study in late 2019 showed that more than half of the industry believed that ‘transformational technologies’ gave them a competitive edge over rivals.
Now, however, it appears that the pandemic has provided an impetus for more companies to act on this belief.
Lauren Sallata, chief marketing officer, Panasonic Corporation of North America, commented: “Undoubtedly, the foodservices and food retail industry saw many challenges this year.
“At the same time, many operations from grocery and convenience stores to restaurants, were able to transform in real-time to quickly meet consumers’ needs.
“Agility has become essential to business success, and digital technology adoption the major enabler.
“The urgency to advance health and safety and consumer convenience is fast-tracking innovation to organizational business models in the industry.”
78% indicated that contactless payments are in much greater demand, resulting in the adoption of a number of solutions including food lockers for pick-up, facial recognition kiosks, and vehicle/license plate recognition.
Similarly, 53% believed their customers are more willing to opt-in to personally-identifiable recognition technologies for the sake of convenience and personal safety