Globalisation has created an international food trade. The downside is that it also has increased the threat of bioterrorism, contagious diseases and the contamination of food products.
Food traceability systems collect data about the objects and their movements, thereby cutting cost. This information can be used to forecast sales by tracking goods in inventory, and replenishing stock regularly. Food traceability is an important part of quality control—it is a tool used to prevent diseases such as avian flu, foot and mouth disease, mad cow disease, and other potentially hazardous health effects.
By 2022, the food traceability market is forecasted to reach US$19.7 billion globally, according to a report by Stratistics MRC. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2 percent, as the market was valued at US$8.7 billion in 2015.
Increased opportunities in emerging economies and technical advancements means Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
In 2016, the food traceability technologies market was valued at US$10.7 billion globally. By 2021, it is expected to reach US$15.1 billion, growing at a CAGR of 7.1 percent. The radio-frequency identification segment is forecast to grow at the highest CAGR; and it was valued at US$2 billion in 2016. The market is forecasted to reach US$4.3 billion in 2021, with a CAGR of 16.9 percent.
The largest market is barcode technology. The segment was worth US$7.8 billion in 2016 and is predicted to reach US$9.5 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 4.2 percent.
Growth in the market is driven by a variety of factors including certifications and standardisations, strict government regulations, product loyalty and an increased awareness among consumers.
The market represents tremendous opportunity for vendors to invest in the research and development of secure, low-cost and unique traceability systems. Emerging economies also represent great opportunity.
Companies are increasingly adopting cloud computing, quality management solutions, enterprise resource planning and warehouse management software, which has contributed to market growth. Challenges to overcome include the need for a variety 0f products and confidentiality issues.
Consumers are sceptical about privacy, and information can be lost to competitors or hackers. Traceability systems therefore, must be secured properly to avoid data theft, other security issues and financial losses.