Blend of IoT with Automation: A New Era of Food Service Equipment

9 Jul



  • Introduction
  • Integration of IoT in food service equipment
  • A step toward sustainability
  • Recent developments in the industry

The kitchen, the core of every home, has undergone a remarkable transformation in its appliances over the years. From basic implements to today's advanced technology, the evolution of kitchen equipment has been a revolutionary journey, reshaping how one cooks and engages with food.

In the 21st century, technology has propelled kitchen equipment to new heights.  Convection ovens, which have fans to ensure even heat distribution, provide consistent cooking results. Smart appliances, with Wi-Fi connectivity and remote-control abilities, have revolutionized cooking by making it more accessible and convenient. The growth of the food service equipment industry is driven by the rise in business-related travel and the increasing number of food establishments, such as hotels and restaurants. The industry is anticipated to display a notable CAGR of 6.3% by 2035.

The shift in food habits and busy lifestyles of consumers has led to a higher demand for ready-to-eat meals. Rapid changes in supporting factors such as consumer preferences, disposable income, digitization, and the increasing number of working women have resulted in the growth of quick service, pop & shop, and other types of restaurants. Also, the rising demand for processed food has increased the number of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and retail shops, boosting demand for refrigeration and storage products.

IoT's role in modernizing food service equipment

Implementation of IoT with food service equipment offers numerous cost-saving benefits. In the food service sector, IoT applications are extensive, ranging from automated monitoring to wireless control. Even before IoT became prevalent, manufacturers were already exploring sensor technology, integrating sensors into equipment such as freezers, cooktops, ovens, and refrigerators. These sensors continuously monitor various metrics including temperature, activity, motion, humidity, voltage, and more.

IoT applications in commercial kitchens are diverse and innovative. For instance, ventilation systems monitor fire hazards, while fryers equipped with IoT technology autonomously manage their oil levels. Advanced ovens cook food items, precisely with specific settings and refrigerators, optimize food purchasing through data analysis. These advancements are expected to garner increased attention in other areas of the commercial kitchen, including dishwashing and waste management systems like dumpsters.

The sustainability revolution in commercial kitchens

Sustainability has emerged as the primary driver of innovation across nearly every industry, including the food service equipment sector. In commercial kitchens, operations can be costly, prompting operators to seek ways to improve efficiency and adhere to regulations to reduce expenses. This focus on sustainability aims to lower costs and address environmental impact, making it a significant trend in the industry. Municipalities and food service companies are increasingly prohibiting the use of plastic straws, while there is also a growing demand for plant-based food packaging.

Many food service equipment manufacturers are responding to the trend of environmental sustainability by designing products with eco-friendly materials such as recycled plastics and metals. Additionally, an increasing number of appliances are utilizing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

Strategic moves developing futuristic food service equipment

Leading food service equipment manufacturers are sustaining the dynamic industry through innovation, strategic acquisitions, a focus on sustainability, expanding offline channels, and targeting high-growth regions. Major players are investing in research and development to introduce advanced food service equipment that saves space and offers multifunctional abilities. This strategic approach enables them to deliver effective solutions that cater to the evolving demands of the food service industry. For instance, LSI Industries Inc., a prominent U.S.-based manufacturer of commercial lighting and display solutions, completed the acquisition of a privately held company, EMI Industries, in April 2024.

Florida-based EMI Industries is recognized for its excellence as a specialized manufacturer in metal and millwork. They produce standard and customized displays, food equipment, and fixtures for the grocery, restaurant sectors, and convenience stores.

Similarly, a prominent North American distributor of industrial products and food service packaging supplies, Imperial Dade, announced the acquisition of Harbour Food Service Equipment in April 2024. Imperial Dade's market-leading platform will enhance Harbour's customer experience with exceptional customized service and an expanded range of products and solutions.

To sum up, the evolution of kitchen equipment has been driven by technological advancements like IoT and sustainability initiatives, reshaping commercial kitchens worldwide. With a focus on efficiency, innovation, and environmental responsibility, manufacturers meet diverse demands while discovering future-ready solutions. Strategic acquisitions and research investments further highlight the industry's commitment to delivering cutting-edge food service equipment for modern culinary environments.

For detailed insights into the investment opportunities in the food service equipment market, feel free to contact us!

Koyel Ghosh

Koyel Ghosh

Author’s Bio- Koyel Ghosh is a blogger with a strong passion and enjoys writing in miscellaneous domains, as she believes it lets her explore a wide variety of niches. She has an innate interest in creativity and enjoys experimenting with different writing styles. A writer who never stops imagining, she has been serving the corporate industry for the last five years.


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