Like any other industry, the food and beverage industry too, is unique in its own way, carrying its own set of characteristics. It is a curious mix of the big and the small, not only in terms of the size of companies in it, but also the reach of these companies.
In a sense, the food and beverage industry is a global one, if only because almost no part of the world is excluded from it. It can be said to global from another perspective: Many players in the food and beverage industry are real global giants with footprints in almost every continent. Think of Coca Cola, McDonalds, Subway, Baskin Robbins and many other such brands that cater to global palates. Yet, it is fragmented too, i.e., many food supply chains cater to small regional or domestic markets. Across the globe, there are literally hundreds of such brands whose reach is limited to a localized area.
The food and beverage industry is a heterogeneous market with an awesome variety of the food that is produced, distributed and consumed in various parts of the world. Another characteristic of the food and beverage industry is that it is one of the industries most profoundly affected by changes brought about by globalization and technological advances. All the services from this we receive sitting in the comfort of our homes is the result of these developments.
Some facts and trends of the food and beverage industry that could surprise you
Make no mistake: The F and B industry is colossal, to put it mildly. Its 2017 size was estimated at $5.6 trillion globally with an impressive CAGR of over 10 percent. The size of the US market alone is estimated at some $700 billion. The F and B industry is served by a huge variety of establishments that deal with food, beverages, tobacco products and pet food. Being an industry of this size, it is natural that the food and beverage industry has its own facts, trends and trivia. Let us look at some of the facts and trends of the food and beverage industry that could surprise you:
The industry is gearing up for the Millennials
Ah, the millennials…they seem to be everywhere. From the colleges and schools that teach them to the companies that hire them, a whole set of industries seems to be getting built around them. The food and beverage industry has not been insulated from the influence of this generation. Expecting this generation to make a huge chunk of its future market, the food and beverage industry is gearing up to this generation’s tastes and preferences. It has been making plans to alter the tastes, packages and many modes of production to suit this generation’s tastes. For example, they are more conscious of food facts and are likely to prefer freshly packed foods.
Gluten is the new cholesterol
What cholesterol was made out to be a decade back-the vilest ingredient on this planet-is now making way for gluten. Most foods are gluten free and consumers strongly insist on this requirement. Whether gluten too will go the way of cholesterol and go back to the good books of food experts in the years to come remains to be seen, but as of now, it is something of a nasty villain.
The itch for organic food
If gluten is despised, organic food is the new blue-eyed boy of the F and B industry. In not just the westernized economies of the US, EU and Japan and others; organic food is making inroads into urban pockets of places like India, China, and many other markets.
The food and beverage industry may be fragmented, but it is not unprofessional
The first impression most people get when they hear of an industry that is fragmented is that it should be unorganized or unprofessional or both. Nothing is farther to the truth than this assessment when it comes to the food and beverage industry. It may be unorganized in a sense, when one considers that not at all employers guarantee working conditions and benefits, but the industry is not without its hordes of professionals who are from highly regarded universities. Many prestigious universities and institutions offer fulltime, regular courses in food and beverages.
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