The total revenue of the global food and beverage industry is skyrocketing with each passing year. Although the quality of products or service plays a significant role in the survival of food and beverage companies, this no longer remains the only ingredient for success in the food and beverage industry. With the ever-changing market trends and the growing need to satisfy changing consumer demands, companies in the sector must be on their toes to grasp new food and beverage industry trends. It is also important for businesses in the sector to identify ways to leverage maximum benefits from the market opportunities. Based on our discussions with several prominent food and beverage companies from different regions, here are some key takeaways on how the food and beverage industry is changing and what companies in this sector must do to thrive.
Trends disrupting the food and beverage industry
Catering to a new group of shoppers
The old rules of the CPG no longer work with the new-age shoppers. Millennials and Gen Z consumers are inclined to brands that fit their lifestyle. This group of consumers are known to shy away from manufactured marketing of traditional food and beverage industry products. They favor ‘real ingredients’ and expect labels to be clear and easily understandable. Moreover, the internet has brought about drastic changes to customer expectations not only online but also in the store. Younger consumers want to be able to order ahead, pay, and capture loyalty rewards, all by using their phones. Catering effectively to this new group of consumers should be a major milestone for companies in the food and beverage industry.
Direct to consumer channels for launching new products
New players in the food and beverage industry often start out by selling directly to consumers, mostly using online channels. Direct to consumer brands are often more successful in capturing deep data on their target consumers which can be further used to deliver personalized consumer experience, refine product strategy, and build long-term customer relationships. By selling directly, players in the food and beverage industry can also experiment with new business models. Furthermore, when these brands plan to move to brick and mortar, it can dramatically enhance their chance of success.
Focus on smart growth
With so many brands in the food and beverage industry and ample choice available to consumers, retailers are often quick to pull the chord on products that fail to deliver quick sales or even attract new customers. When launching a new product in the food and beverage industry, it is always better to start small in order to be able to manage the complexities of retail distribution. Brands that focus on expanding too rapidly could run into crippling cashflows or may even face critical manufacturing or supply chain problems. Also, increased focus must be given to communicating stories at the shelf via packaging, promotions, shelf-edge marketing, and the other tried and tested tools of retail marketing.