Overview of the Food & Drinks Industry
The food and drinks industry are dominated by supermarkets. The majority of families prefer to shop in supermarkets for the convenience, choice and value for money. Supermarkets operate in a necessity market and work hard to maintain a high quality shopping experience that maintains brand loyalty.
The food and drinks industry have seen significant change in recent years. During the post-war years, shopping for food and drink was supply led. Local family stores (such as greengrocers and fishmongers) stocked what was in season from local producers, farms and regional wholesalers. Small grocery stores, stocking fresh vegetables, bread and meat would have been most consumers way of purchasing food and drink.
Street markets held regularly would also have been a convenient way to buy supplies, when many households would not have owned or had access to a car. Shopping for food and drink would have been on a day to day basis, and smaller quantities of fresh foods were consumed more regularly.
Further back households there expected any available land for cultivation and growing. Supplies were scarce, and home grown produce became a way of life that was extended after the war with allotments. Whilst gardens became ornamental once again, and flowers and lawns re-emerged, the home grown vegetable patches never went away completely and indeed in times of austerity, “grow your own” and all that that entails have become popular and even fashionable.
Nowadays it is our taste for organic produce that has consumers demanding more of it from retailers. Consumers are demanding healthier organic foods. However, price still plays an important role in our purchasing habits, and organic food can work out to be more highly priced.
Food that is home-grown can be a cheaper alternative to access organic produce. The popularity food the world appears the increase for number reasons Austerity and the pressure to make food budgets go further along with health reasons, and gardening as a leisure pastime has all combined to increase the market for home grown food.
The rise in own brand value food and drink in our supermarkets is testament to the rise in demand for cheaper lines of groceries. Some supermarkets have launched own label brands that are very competitively priced whilst also meeting other consumers needs such as also being fair-trade and low in food miles.
Consumer tastes in food and drink change all the time as influences from around the World shape cooking and our diets. Supermarkets are often at the forefront of bringing international foods into our shops. Convenience foods in particular highlight how Western palates. Mediterranean, Pan Asian, and South American cuisine have found their way into Western restaurants, high street cafes and pubs and bars.
The Internet is putting intolerable price pressure on smaller local independent food and drink outlets. Yet consumers have taken to online shopping en masse. Online shopping and home delivery has taken off and now more recently “click and collect” has seen an increase in usage. Food shopping is a necessity, and in a busy modern life most of us want to do our food shopping as quickly as possible. “Click and collect” offers the convenience of online shopping without the delivery charge, customers can collect their already packed shopping on their way home from work or when it is convenient for them.
The food and drink retail industry are also dominated by the restaurant and eating out market. During the economic downturn, bars, pubs and restaurants have had to entice consumers out of their kitchens and back into restaurants. The global food and drink industry have used technology. Many bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes have an active digital presence by offering coupons and incentives that attract passing price conscious consumers.
With so many retail food outlets, it's no wonder consumers are spoilt for choice. Most of us will browse through online business directories for contact details to book a table or order food or drinks online. Many business directories provide invaluable consumer reviews, product information and prices.
Many food and drink businesses have found “dining in” experiences, are a great way to help consumers enjoy a meal and save money going out to eat. Packaged quality of dinners for two conveniently packaged and easy to cook, give the feeling of having a night off from cooking.