Changing technology poses a number of challenges for a food sector, but there are opportunities to be captured, too. How can more traditional industry players benefit from the technological evolution in the sector? Here is a selection of key future trends in the food industry and the possible perks for retailers.
Food Delivery on Rise
Home meal delivery services will emerge as a strong trend in the upcoming years. Millennials have already fallen for this type of service, but the market offers huge potential in other population categories, too. Driven by the progress in GPS technology, the food delivery service also appeals to traditional distributors. According to industry experts, brick and mortar outlets continue to play an important role. Physical presence in a community remains bricks' genuine asset as they are well equipped to deliver hot meals and fresh beverages at the right times during the day. Importantly, they can exploit their physical proximity to customers to tighten relationships with consumers. At the same time, the digital channel allows both for setting up a delivery service and getting to know your customers better through the feedback you collect from them.
Pivotal Role of Social Media
Food is one of social media's favourite topics. Figures speak volumes. Since 2014, food has been the subject of over 200 million posts on Instagram, while the number of hits on YouTube totalled 1.5 billion. Social media are instrumental in forming the relationship between consumers and brands. Staying tuned to social media enables the food industry players to follow consumer trends, as well as analyse customer's perception of a given product or brand, claim experts who can now apply standards to measure and understand emerging tendencies. Social listening offers the opportunity to follow influencers, campaigns and compare product rollouts in terms of their effectiveness. Also, monitoring digital conversations helps identify brand ambassadors and brand critics, and in the case of crisis, analyse its impact. Social media appear to be the best place to get to know your customers, as well as recognize their needs that have yet to be addressed.