The food industry is evolving rapidly. Food industry leaders and innovators weigh in on top trends driving change toward a healthier and more sustainable food future.
Foraying into the restaurant business still involves a huge risk. Instead, you might consider opting for a food and beverage outlet by focusing on offering healthier products. And these days, with recession looming over our heads, eating healthy is even a better excuse to cut down on unnecessary consumption while remaining frugal, writes Umang Tewari, founder of Big Fish Ventures
Given the fact that the food industry is always in a stage of evolution, there are certain trends that those in this business have always got to be aware of. These days, it is the wave of healthy food that is driving the industry while both providers and consumers move towards a culture of food sustainability. Here then are some of the top trends:
The biggest trend driving change in the food and beverage industry right now is transparency. Consumers want to know and understand what ingredients are going into their products, which is why we are seeing so many innovative products with shorter ingredient lists that you can pronounce. Consumers are seeking simplicity in addition to better quality foods. Before now, it was rare to flip to the back of a product on a shelf and read the contents before putting it in your cart.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Many companies in 2019 will add new product lines or introduce healthier products and ingredients to their existing foods and drinks. Yet, rather than developing these newer products within the business’ existing operations, an increasing number of companies are acquiring ventures that are already producing the type of foods or ingredients they are looking for.
Safety and Sustainability
In recent years, consumer confidence in the safety of the US’ food supply has been lagging. An increasing number of consumers, particularly millennials, want to know whether their food producers are green, charitable with their excess products, control their water consumption, use alternative energies like solar power, and reduce wasteful packaging, among other factors. While these important sustainable measures can be costly to operations, companies must leverage efficient green systems and be aware of cost-saving tax credits such as food donation deductions to help offset the cost of these important efforts.
Although shelf space in grocery stores has become fiercely competitive, there are other attractive selling channels taking precedence. As the fierce competition for shelf space continues, home delivery will grow in demand as well. Customers order their choices from their devices, and delivery is provided within hours or available for pickup at neighbouring locations. Look for this service to continue to grow regionally too, as local grocery outlets, dairies and farmers develop operations to meet their customers’ needs.
In 2019, the practice for consumers is to engage in research before they buy, and that includes food and beverages. With a quick search on their smartphones, consumers can make informed and speedy choices about the products they consume. What are the foods that provide protein and energy boost needed for a workout? Which drinks promote healthier skin? Where is this food grown? What are the core values and history of the company manufacturing the product? Successful food and beverage businesses must start using digital and social platforms to connect with consumers, providing robust product research avenues, tips, stories, forums and more for the information-hungry consumer. Harnessing the Internet of Things and big data are important parts of that overall strategy as well.
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