Food Processing Branding Trends – Challenges and Opportunities
Grant Thornton LLP recently collaborated with Food Processing magazine to study food processing branding trends. Their survey of 114 companies examines where food and beverage manufacturers are distributing their goods, how they differentiate themselves, and which emerging trends are having the biggest impact on their businesses. Here are a few of the study’s key findings:
Balanced marketing strategies. To thrive in a rapidly evolving food landscape, food and beverage manufacturers’ product and branding strategies must be both targeted and flexible – focused enough to differentiate themselves, yet nimble enough to adapt to changing conditions.
Organic and natural labeling. Products labeled with either of these terms have recently enjoyed a huge surge in popularity. And although the labels “organic” and “natural” may be synonymous to some consumers, the industry’s approach to applying these labels is well differentiated. While more than 78% of food and beverage manufacturers label at least some of their products as “natural,” over half (55%) offer no products labeled as “organic.”
Product distribution. Food and beverage manufacturers are distributing their products far and wide, with over 85% making at least some products available nationally. Not surprisingly, large manufacturers (annual revenues > $100 million) are more likely than smaller ones to distribute products internationally (97% vs. 60%).
Private label / store brands. The recent recession, coupled with a significant increase in product quality, has prompted consumers to try private-label products as a cost-saving measure. As a result, many major retail chains (74%) have adopted a private-label strategy.
Products and competition for shelf space. Rampant product proliferation has made determining which products to carry more difficult than ever. Still, food and beverage companies continue to expand their lineups, with 75% of manufacturers increasing their number of SKUs over the past three years.
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