Insights - 3 major challenges facing the food and beverage industry

24 March 2023

technologist white protective suit walking through food factory production line checking quality 1014x450 1


The food and beverage industry is one that is constantly in flux. New consumer trends, emerging technologies and changing market forces mean this industry is one that has to continue to evolve and adapt. Here are 3 major challenges currently facing the food and beverage industry.


1. The ongoing energy crisis


Like all businesses, companies in the food and beverage sector have been affected by the recent rise in energy prices. However, in March 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics – Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS), 60% reported being affected by the rise in energy prices, compared with 38% across all sectors.

We’ve previously highlighted how businesses can manage rising energy costs by optimising their industrial space and the food and beverage sector is no different. With this specific industry being subject to temperature regulations, it’s arguably more important for the food and beverage industry to do all they can to keep rising costs to a minimum throughout this ongoing crisis.


2. Food integrity 


Food contamination, cross contamination and quality control continue to be major challenges facing the food and beverage industry. This impacts all parts of the supply chain, especially food processing and manufacturing facilities.

Within food manufacturing facilities, temperature and humidity control are key, and if the facility is creating more than one type of product, cross contamination is a major worry and can pose a threat to product integrity if not properly addressed with the right equipment.

Outside your facility, food processing facilities also face product contamination challenges along their exterior, such as in the loading dock. Open dock doors are an opportunity for outside contaminants to interfere with food and beverage products, such as:

  • Insects
  • Heat
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Dust
  • Bacteria and other food-borne pathogens


3. Plastic elimination


Plastic has become a major focus in the strive to make business practices more environmentally friendly and the excess consumption and improper disposal of plastic has come up as one of the major challenges faced by food and beverage managers today. Consumers see more value in companies that do their bit to reduce single use plastic and so those in the food and beverage industry are having to adapt.

In 2020, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and PepsiCo reiterated their earlier commitments to creating a circular economy, eliminating plastic waste, and using 100% recyclable/reusable packaging. Additionally, retailers such as Asda, Café Coffee Day, and McDonald’s have also announced their commitment to go plastic-free and bring about sustainable practices in production and packaging.


How Westgate Global can help overcome challenges facing food and beverage


At Westgate Global, we’ve worked extensively within the food and beverage sector, helping companies facilitate additional processes and changes to their manufacturing systems. We work with some of the biggest brands in F&B including; Birds Eye, Kerry, Arla, Kellogg’s, Marstons and Kingsland Drinks, providing various hygienic screens, partitions and walls.

Three of our products are particularly useful in the food and beverage sector and can be used to help overcome the major challenges highlighted.


Flexiwall can be used for:

  • Storage and production segregation or creation of new designated areas
  • Temperature controlled enclosures; varying temperatures for product storage
  • Preventing cross contamination in goods storage

Flexiscreen has a range of uses including:

  • Screen off production line installations to prevent cross contamination in a live food manufacturing facility
  • Dust containment during flooring and drainage works
  • Create an enclosure around areas where the roof needs to be removed, for temperature and contamination prevention

Flexicurtain can be used for:

  • Segregation of production lines for washdown processes
  • Preventing cross contamination between production lines
  • Temporary retractable segregation where large construction equipment needs access


To find out more about how we can help your food and beverage company overcome its current challenges, contact us.