Faced with food price inflation, security scares, pressure to reduce waste and adopt more sustainable sourcing and logistics practices, distributors and wholesalers are confronting some of their toughest challenges yet. As the mix of cash & carries, delivered grocery and foodservice wholesalers meet increasing competition from e-commerce, supermarkets and consortium purchasing, the need for a compelling customer support proposition becomes ever more vital.
The hugely fragmented and complex UK foodservice market is continuously being shaped by a burgeoning food culture, strengthening consumer demand for indulgence and convenience, whilst the campaign for health and well-being gains momentum. This consumer complexity together with rising operator innovation and product availability, ensures foodservice suppliers face ever-greater challenges to compete effectively.
As the blurring of channels becomes ever more muddled, retailers are looking to foodservice and on-the-go offers to integrate into their business. And whilst social and economic changes drive a 5% year-on-year growth in convenience retail, food and drink suppliers need to offer solutions to meet and inspire shopper missions, deliver convincing category visions and adopt more technologically engaging consumer promotional support.
Facing increasing pressure to deliver innovation, quality and value, the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors are dependent on consumer confidence and business sentiment. As such, brand strength and effective distribution are more important than ever. The industry is increasingly engaging with digitally active consumers who expect to be able to interact with brands on a personalised, multichannel basis, and who harness social media and mobile technology at an ever faster rate.