2010 is just a few days away.

With the new decade will come a new set of priorities and challenges for the food and beverage industry.  From impending governmental and regulatory changes to gradual shifts in consumer buying habits, companies in our industry will need to change tacks to stay ahead of the curve.

FoodProcessing.com recently asked its Editorial Advisory Board, as well as contributors, readers and web site visitors, about the industry shifts they anticipated for 2010 and beyond.  Among other things, respondents listed a changing retail landscape as a big “game changer.”

So where will you be selling your products in the next decade?  Consider these statistics:

  • Just 20 years ago, Americans made nearly 90 percent of their at-home food purchases in traditional grocery stores.
  • Today, that share has dropped to 69 percent.
  • Today’s biggest food retailers include Walmart (#1) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (#3).
  • Grocery is the largest retail category for Walmart – accounting for 49 percent of revenue in 2008, and nearly four times the next closest category (entertainment).
  • Nontraditional food stores (supercenters, hypermarkets, club stores, dollar stores) are enticing consumers – and grabbing market share – with one-stop shopping and lower prices.
  • Supermarkets are still market leaders, chosen by 44 percent of food shoppers “almost every time” and “fairly often” by another 31 percent.

The bottom line?  There will be no single store format for the future.  Consumers want different things – big superstores, one-stop shopping, upscale shopping, convenience and more.  Retailers must respond by finding their market niche and creating the right focus.  The same holds true for food processors.  To keep pace with shifts in consumer buying habits, processors must create the right product mix to offer in a wide range of retailers.

Kinsa’s professional search and assessment services can deliver talented food and beverage professionals to help you manage industry shifts like these in 2010 and beyond.  Please visit our website to learn more.

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