The food and beverage industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are changing the way food is processed and transferred as well as the way consumers shop.

The most impact these new capabilities have had is on the manufacturing side of things. Manufacturing in the food and beverage sector is a continuous and labyrinthine process that cannot afford snags or stops during production. AI and IoT will help to cut down on losses and downtime.

F&B giants like Pepsi, Nestle and Coca-Cola are using AI-powered processes to manage these complex manufacturing processes. These tools help everyone in the integrated chain of vendors, suppliers, utilities, stakeholders, labor and manufacturing to control machinery and products.

A closer look at how they are impacting F&B shows interesting developments. Sorting food items by shapes, sizes and weight is no longer a manual or time-consuming process. Cameras, X-rays, near-infrared spectroscopy and lasers can now analyze items and test quality before passing them on.

AI gleans info from data collected to keep track of user behavior, display trends and help companies create effective marketing strategies for existing products and the launch of new products. Augmented reality and virtual reality are helping technicians to maintain the food products better, gain maximum profits and expand the businesses.

But these latest technologies have impacted more than the manufacturing and production sectors. They have revolutionized the way we shop for food, order at restaurants and even for a takeout. AI tools use personal data and social media information to glean customer data.

Coca-Cola uses AI to enable customers to make customized drinks by adding their favorite ingredients. They use consumer research to suggest the flavors.

Restaurants are conducting similar experiments with online AI ordering apps. They study the eating habits of consumers to recommend places to eat and can even suggest healthy foods to order, according to health conditions.

Some food and beverage companies have VR gadgets to show how the food is being made back in the kitchen, including how it is sourced from a farm far away or how their famous craft beer is brewed. These experiments are focused on enhancing taste buds and their brand value at the same time.

These and other emerging technologies like Blockchain and CX are poised to disrupt the industry even further.

Brands like Kraft Heinz have anticipated the growth and direction of this tech market. To this effect, it has announced the launch of a new venture fund called Evolv Ventures, which will invest $100 million in emerging technology companies that are transforming the food industry.