The February 2021 Jobs Report was a blockbuster for those employed in the Food & Beverage industry. Four fifths of a substantial gain of 355,000 jobs in Leisure and Hospitality were driven by food services and drinking places.
And as vaccines roll out across the world, we see a strong return to spending in this sector, especially as it relates to restaurant and travel-related spending.
As the industry recovers, here are some trends we’ll be watching:
The persistence of innovation in home delivery
During the pandemic, consumers got used to getting just about any consumable delivered to their front door almost instantaneously. This opened up new market opportunities for those players who could leverage innovation in on-demand delivery. This has proved a particular boon for alcohol delivery, an untapped market.
Traditional alcohol distribution was highly reliant on relationships between key account managers, brand managers and their sales territories. In this post COVID age, there is an immense amount of opportunity for growth in alcohol delivery.
Hybrid Options will Remain
We’ve also seen restaurants repurpose themselves as grocery stores of makers of take-home meal kits to finish at home. We expect to see such establishments continue to reap additional revenue through this sort of arrangement. As at-home cooking has boomed, so too have opportunities to reach new customer segments. Expect brands and restaurants to try to leverage a hybrid approach to reach customers.
Building Relationships in Digital
We’ve written recently about how the pandemic has forced many salespersons and account managers to turn to digital tools such as LinkedIn to forge and strengthen their relationships. We believe that those in the food and beverage industry will further try and strengthen consumer ties with a more sophisticated use of digital and social media. From Instagram and TikTok campaigns to beefed up digital loyalty programs, expect digital to be an important part of the post pandemic recovery.
A Renewed Focus on Wellness
We’ve already seen fitness centers go for a sales pitch focused on helping quarantined folks lose the fifteen pounds or so they’ve gained by being homebound. Therefore, we believe that the market for healthy beverage options that lack alcohol will continue to grow. And as thirsts for these types of beverages grow, so too will the need for formulations that better mimic the adult taste of alcoholic beverages. That’s why craft brewers may expand their options to low- or no-alcohol options, and more companies touting botanical-based “cordials” to flourish.
Hiring in the Food and Beverage Recovery
As food and beverage bounces back from a tough year, we believe that hiring will focus on seasoned players who know how to leverage creative strategies that include digital to strengthen customer acquisition and loyalty. If you are looking for a qualified food and beverage professional to help you navigate the post-pandemic recovery, we can help. Contact us to discuss your needs.