It’s the end of summer, a strange summer at that. I don’t want to use the cliché “new norm,” but let’s face it, life and business is different. It will continue to be different, according to most food, beverage and consumer behavior analysts.
As a new empty nester, I have time, lots of time. I am partaking in many webinars and identifying the similarities in messaging. From what I have heard—and observed—there are five COVID-19 (consumer and manufacturer) behaviors that will have long-term implications for the food and beverage industry.
Here they are.
1. Product developers and manufacturers must rely on their suppliers and co-packers more than ever before. Without trade shows, it’s paramount that ingredient suppliers get new concepts in front of manufacturers in new ways. It might be a catalog of concepts, with or without an accompanying tasting box. It might be a webinar, again, with or without a tasting box. But I highly recommend that box, as eating and drinking is very much about the experience.
The Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network (CFBN) brought that experience to its members on August 27, when the nonprofit hosted a virtual trends and innovations event, which included a tasting box delivered to your door. I wrote about the webinar for Food Business News. You can read more HERE.
The interactive live event was designed to not only assist food industry professionals in Chicago, but members around the country, even beyond U.S. borders. Attendees were able to dive into the trends and insights that are shaping food today with a look to where “taste” is headed in the future, according to Alan Reed, executive director of CFBN, the region’s food and beverage cluster organization.
Kelley Fechner, director of customer solutions for Datassential, explored the nine trends taking place in foodservice, which while many have been put on hold by chefs, consumer interest in them continues. Food and beverage manufacturers have the opportunity to tap into them for retail innovations. Read more HERE.