The tangible technological transformation worldwide is making a propitious penetration in a gamut of markets, and the food industry is highly benefitted by the same. In the contemporary era, Industry 4.0 is leading to the next wave of transition in the food industry, and the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) in food production and processing, and the much precedent emergence of robot restaurants has been leading to a swell in the food robotics market size that was evaluated at $1.55 billion in 2018. The advanced automation has already gained prominence in the food manufacturing industry with players such as Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and ABB Group providing technological manufacturing aids in the form of electric robots that can operate on heavy payloads for food manufacturing.

The automation potential for waiter and waitress translates to 77% excluding the food preparation workers. If the food preparation workers are added in the count, the probability transcends to 87%. The perceivable profitability for technology in robot restaurants and automated food manufacturing is realized by the market players that are striving to provide useful solutions in the form of hydraulic robotic arm, domestic robots, autonomous robots, and gantry robot. For instance, in September 2017, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. introduced two new 6-axis vertically articulated robots with maximum payload capacities of 7kg in order to capitalize on the food robotics market demand. Similarly, other players are expanding their product portfolio in the food robotics market.

The slew of products and the continuously catapulting demand for robots in the food industry will lead to a swell in the food robotics market size at a profitable CAGR of 12.55% during the forecast period 2019-2025.

Apart from the adoption of technology in restaurants and food manufacturing, the growth of the food processing industry is expanding prospects for the food robotics market players. This is because robots are highly useful for mundane tasks such as cutting and slicing that are integral parts of food processing. The upcoming years will foresee the food industry using robotics for many such tasks in food processing, which will further increase the food robotics market size.

APAC Dominated with the Food Robotics Market Share of 41.70% in Global Revenues during 2018:

The current economic resilience in the APAC countries such as China, India, and others is encouraging the technological modus operandi to making a permanent penetration in the manufacturing sector, and the food industry is no different. As a result, APAC bore the maximum food robotics market share in 2018, and apparently, the opportunities emerged from the food manufacturing segment. While the manufacturing segment gained moment, the upcoming years are projected witness automation of restaurant as robotics is paving its way into the serving segment of restaurants. For instance, in 2017, the city Chennai of India, had witnessed its first restaurant called “Robot” which utilized robotics as a technological tool for serving food. The success story of this restaurant is spawning other restaurant owners to blend technology with serving system in their set-up. In August 2019, Bengaluru, India saw its first robot restaurant where robots are used for serving purpose.

While the robots in restaurants remains a concept that is gradually gaining grounds in the APAC countries, the contemporary food robotics market demand surge in the region is predominantly attributable to the augmented need generated from the food manufacturing sector which is leading to an increasing adoption of food manufacturing robots.

There is an upsurge in the import value corresponding to the parent industry of industrial robots to countries of APAC.

Table 1 – The Import of Industrial Robots (Values from the Parent Market)

Sr. No.


Import Value in USD


Year on Year Growth



$13.35 billion




$2.24 billion




$1.04 billion




$909.18 million




$1.67 billion




$2.12 billion


The data in the table substantiate the growing need for industrial robots in the major APAC marketplaces, and a significant part of these values is attributable to the demand for robots generated in the APAC food manufacturing industry. The rise in the import of industrial robots in the aforementioned APAC countries evinces the rising food robotics market demand in the region.

Another factor creating a staggering surge in the APAC food industry is the palpable rise in disposable income of the working population due to the economic boom in many APAC countries such as China, India, and Indonesia. Furthermore, the profitability in the processed food industry is realized by a myriad of food industry players which has led to an increase in the production of same. This, in turn, is incrementing the food robotics market size in APAC.

During the forecast period, more restaurants will be equipping their set-ups with robots. Furthermore, the food manufacturing industry will witness a lucrative growth owing to the further population growth which will increase the demand for food products. This food manufacturing industry will become a major end-user of food robots.  

Food Robotics Market Growth – Global Scenario, Drivers, and Disruptive Trends:

With industrial robots observing a trade growth by 8% (ITC), the food robotics market is achieving the tipping point of profitability, and certainly so when the trends in the associated markets of the food industry is in the favor of the incorporation of robots.

Here are some factors driving the food robotics market growth –

· The Increasing Demand for Meat Products and Incorporation of Robots in Manufacturing –

Even though there is a definite increase in the number of vegans across the world which is seemingly dwarfing the meat market demand, a substantial fraction of population still remains non-vegetarian and relies on meat food products for nutrition. The world meat trade had increased to 31 Mt in 2017 – 1.5% higher than that in 2016. Furthermore, the organization estimates that the global meat production will increase from 318,533 kt cwe in 2017 to 366,668 kt cwe. With the rising demand for meat production across the globe, the manufacturing companies will be looking for scale-up projects and also ways to reduce the time taken in meat production. This is exactly where the food robotics market players will be capitalizing by providing automated methods.

Robotic butchery has been gaining momentum in the meat industry. For instance, high-volume chicken leg deboning already uses automated methods. Furthermore, the prominent beef manufacturer, JBS USA has automated the rib cutting process of beef manufacturing. The future will foresee more technologies that can be incorporated in the food manufacturing industry.

· The Key Application in the Food Robotics Market: Palletizing to Grow at a CAGR of 4.79% through to 2025 –

Robots have become a commonplace in the warehouses of manufacturing industries be it petrochemicals or chemical. The trend has translated to the food manufacturing industry wherein robots are heavily utilized for palletizing. The processed food market is a hefty user of this technology because processed food products are more often than not uniform in size, and robotic gripper makes it easier to move them from one place to other. With the food manufacturers striving to reduce human errors in operations, palletizing segment of the food robotics market is making strides while the upcoming years may also witness further developments in packaging segment.

· The Emergence of the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) Increasing the Food Robotics Market Size –

The food manufacturing companies are realizing the potential of AGVs in the operations and more so when the implementation can provide return on investment (ROI) in just one year. Furthermore, this eliminates the much dreaded consequences of human errors which lead to food losses. AGVs can significantly make a difference in terms of efficiency and quality in each application right from food packaging & logistics to beverage bottling that are integral parts of a food manufacturing units. In the upcoming years, the AGVs and also automated mobile vehicles (AMVs) will be bringing a seismic shift in the food manufacturing operations.

Food Robotics Market Top 10 Companies:

The major players with the maximum food robotics market share are ABB Group, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., KUKA AG, Seiko Epson Corporation, FANUC Corporation, Staubli International Corporation, Universal Robots A/S, and The Yaskawa Electric Corporation.

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