The founder and CEO of Novolyze, Karim-Franck Khinouche, offers a wealth of knowledge on what to expect in 2023. From the urgency of sustainability to digitization bridging the labor shortage gap, here is what he had to say.

Audarshia Townsend, Content Director, Food & Beverage Insider

December 20, 2022

3 Min Read
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As 2022 wraps up, the food safety industry is taking the time to reflect on some of the biggest trends of the past year and look ahead to which will be most relevant in 2023. With that in mind, Karim-Franck Khinouche, founder and CEO of Novolyze, made this invaluable list of six food safety predictions. Khinouche is a food scientist engineer and holds a master’s degree in business development from EM Lyon. His company works with some of the world’s largest food production companies to increase efficiencies by digitizing food safety and quality processes.

Here are Khinouche’s predictions:

  • Consumers will crave more traceability. Food traceability has been at the forefront for some time now, but we’ve seen it take off even more since the beginning of Covid-19, and in particular over the past year. Today, people care about their food perhaps more than ever before and want to know where it’s coming from—something the industry took for granted in the past. In 2023, the industry can expect to see even more interest and emphasis on traceability.

 

  • Make sustainability a priority. Sustainability is embedded within the food industry and has been for quite some time. But in 2023, I believe that sustainability’s real business value will come to light. Not only is it a good look in general, but it also has real value for shareholders. We’ll see a shift where the industry realizes the value in working more towards sustainable production. As the industry continues to accept sustainability targets, data will be used to measure how brands are doing when it comes to sustainability. Those who don’t put sustainability front-and-center in 2023 will be left behind.

 

  • Be better prepared for audits. Now that there is a sense of normalcy in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic, food plant audits are increasingly taking place in-person and will continue to even more in 2023. As a result, we can expect to see a higher number of recalls as auditors catch things that might have slipped by over the past several years of conducting audits virtually. With plants now fully functional, it’s critical to make sure everything is in order to ensure more seamless audits.

 

  • Technology will continue to bridge the labor shortage gap. Over the past year, the labor shortage was a major story in a wide range of sectors, including food safety. The average age of today’s quality assurance manager is higher than ever. It has become difficult to find qualified people who want to work in this industry. In 2023, I expect technology such as AI and machine learning to be a key factor in helping the industry make up for the labor shortage that’s currently taking place.

  

  • Keep your crisis manager nearby. Social media will continue to play a big role in food-related crises. Today, the life of a food-related crisis is a roller coaster, thanks to the fast-paced and never-ending news cycle. Since there’s always another story around the corner, people often tend to move on quickly to the next story. While this is ultimately a good thing for food safety-related crises, it will be critical to have a crisis manager who knows how to handle the ins and outs of social media in 2023.

 

  • More digitization. The food safety industry is taking its time to adopt AI and digitize as many different areas as possible. Today, roughly half of the food safety industry utilizes AI in some way. Many industry folks fantasize about a massive digitization product that results in a full overhaul of the industry, when in fact it’s better practice to use AI and machine learning to solve specific problems bit by bit. Food plants are becoming more and more digitally focused. And in 2023, I expect an even bigger digitization push in the food industry.

About the Author(s)

Audarshia Townsend

Content Director, Food & Beverage Insider, Informa Markets

A lifelong Chicagoan, Audarshia Townsend is an award-winning, veteran food and beverage journalist who serves as the content director for the Food & Beverage Insider brand. She is Informa Markets' 2024 "Star Storyteller" winner. Her experience as a visionary editor and writer spans 30 years, with an emphasis in print and digital magazines. Audarshia's professional passion is to champion and amplify underserved business communities. Some of her most recent content includes her review of 2023's F&B trends, the future of food science careers, an interview with culinary star Padma Lakshmi, and Pescavore's sustainable ahi tuna jerky strips. She also appears regularly on local and national media outlets to discuss food and beverage trends, most notably FOX-32 Chicago, WGN-TV, WXRT-FM, NPR-Chicago and the Travel Channel. She is often called on to serve as a judge for prestigious food, beverage and restaurant awards, including the James Beard Foundation, NEXTY Awards and Black Women in Food. She continues to write for Chicago magazine, and previously she has written for the likes of the Chicago Tribune, Eater Chicago, Esquire, Essence, Los Angeles Times, Playboy, Time Out Global and World’s Best Bars. With food and beverage being her longtime, chosen beat in media, she has created content for a number of prestigious brands such as AOL, Google, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, Lexus, MasterCard, Markon Cooperative Inc., Miller Brewing Co., Resy and Simplot Foods.

To date, Audarshia has guest lectured at the following higher-education institutions: Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University Chicago for undergraduate journalism students; Northwestern University for graduate journalism students; and Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) for undergraduate, graduate and PhD food science students. She also mentors aspiring young writers and journalists whenever she can. Email her at [email protected] and also connect with her on LinkedIn.

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