Significant growth expected in food and beverage sector

The global food and beverage sector is poised for significant growth with demand expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years, but a leading industry expert is advising New Zealand companies to be cautious.

The latest Grant Thornton International Food and Beverage report, 'Hunger for growth: Food and Beverage looks to the future', reveals that 90% of food and beverage executives around the world are expecting revenues to increase, with a third predicting sales growth of more than 10 %.

The report also shows that three quarters of food and beverage companies are set to increase investment in new products, distribution channels and markets across the globe over the next few years.

Grant Thornton New Zealand Partner and National Leader, Food and Beverage, Simon Hunter, says it would be easy for New Zealand food and beverage companies to adopt the same bullish behaviour. But instead, they need to focus on ensuring a solid, sophisticated strategy is in place as this opportunity rich environment is full of many challenges.

“It’s critical to know what market, channel or category the business is going to target and what differentiates them and their competition. These things need to be thought out at a micro-level.

“New Zealand businesses might think, ‘okay, let’s go to China’. But where in China? Which category?Which channel? These questions need to be raised and well thought out for a truly strategic approach.”

Hunter says in a sector with this much growth; agility needs to be incorporated into a company’s strategy.

“If a business is able to change quickly to meet the demands of its customers or match what its competitors are doing, it will reap the rewards of the upturn in this sector.

“Then, once a solid strategy is defined, it’s critical that the right person is tasked with its deployment and implementation and this needs to be managed with rigorous discipline.”

He says a lot of New Zealand business failures arise from people not stress testing their plans to determine whether they are realistic and achievable.

Further enquiries, please contact:

Simon Hunter
T +64 (0)9 926 5747
M +64 (0)27 4899 737
E simon.hunter@nz.gt.com