Meet the fastest growing e-commerce category. With a 25% growth in the last quarter of 2019, food is currently the fastest growing e-commerce category. Meal deliverers such as Thuisbezorgd and Uber Eats are a well-known driver of this, just like omnichannel supermarkets. You may not expect it, but food service professionals, such as buyers for hospitality and catering, are increasingly buying online. Indeed, according to experts, the purchase of food products is already at least 80% online. This development creates quite a few new challenges for existing players. There are many new entrants and much uncertainty about how the sales channels will develop in the coming period. Which players are going to cause a stir in food-commerce? Shopping Tomorrow recently conducted research into the future of the food market. How bright is that future really? The 2B Food expert group focused on the purchases of professionals in the hospitality and catering sector (B2B). E-commerce professionals from leading companies, such as Bieze Food Group, Coca-Cola, ING, Makro, Pepsico, PostNL and caterer Vitam, participated in this. The expert group made a list of all impactful developments in the sector. They arranged these developments according to the impact on the division of roles in the future food market. They then validated these developments with the help of a survey of fifty food professionals. In this survey they presented the food professionals with fifteen developments. In this way, they ultimately charted the impact on the food market. Trends This survey among food professionals revealed that a number of trends were mentioned on which most (70% or more) of the respondents agreed: Blurring continues to develop One digital system, internet of things Tight labor market Personal food supply Sustainability remains important Sales through more sales channels Blurring continues to develop The distinction between food service and food retail is further blurred, says 75% of the experts asked. The original principle of food retail (groceries for consumption at home) is changing. An increasing part of the offer is aimed at immediate consumption, which was the domain of the hospitality industry. The chefs are ready for you at a Jumbo Foodmarkt. AH delivers at home through Allerhande Kookt. Experts expect mixed forms from supermarket and restaurant. The delivery of groceries by retailers to companies and institutions via their delivery services is also a form of blurring. Traditionally this was the domain of catering and wholesalers. According to our respondents, this development will have the most influence on the market. One digital system, internet of things In a large majority (70%), food professionals expect the chef to purchase all his products quickly and easily via one digital system, for example via voice or automated. At present, most kitchens are already ordering digitally, but automated purchasing and voice ordering are still in their infancy. Think of links with POS systems or through smart cooling and storage cabinets and ordering via Alexa. Tight labor market Almost everyone indicates that the demand for personnel from food service remains high, but that the good people are hardly to be found. More than 80% indicate that this will certainly be a challenge. The tightness currently stimulates efficiency in the kitchen and operation. Personal food supply According to the professionals, nutrition is highly personalized in 2025 – just like everything else. A large proportion of the respondents (76%) expect this development to continue. Tailor-made food is available for every need and every type of person. It is also clear that the health trend is continuing, but the opinions of experts are divided as to whether unhealthy food also disappears from the range. Sustainability is important The sustainability trend is clearly continuing (according to 79% of the professionals). Sustainability plays an important role in choices for raw materials, production, logistics and storage. More and more parties are responding to this in logistics. For example, PostNL is steadily expanding its electric transport and CO2-neutral city distribution. Sales through more sales channels Almost nobody expects you as a manufacturer to be dependent in 2025 on a limited number of sales channels. Most respondents (82%) predict that the sale will take place on many different channels (platforms, wholesalers or other channels). Reading tip: the 13 most important e-commerce trends of 2020 The uncertainties In addition to trends, there are also a number of issues that experts believe will have a major impact on the food service chain. Yet opinions are divided on this. The extent to which platforms take over the position of wholesalers. Opinions were divided on the statement “In 2025 there will be hardly any more wholesalers, product purchases and sales will go through platforms (for example Amazon, Google or newly established food service market places).” About 42% of the respondents expect that barely any wholesalers will continue to exist, while an equally large percentage do not expect this. 14% of respondents do not know. Our experts see this as one of the most impactful developments. Transparent sharing of data and information. Experts regard the sharing of data and information as a very impactful development. At the same time, the experts are divided as to whether this transparent sharing becomes common (41%) or not (43%). Source: Expert group 2B food – Shopping Tomorrow Disruption of the market by new entrants. 53% of the experts expect new players who will ‘turn the market upside down’. 20% is uncertain about that development or does not know it. 27% (certainly) do not expect that new entrants will change the market. Scenarios The expert group describes in the bluepaper ‘Opschudding in Food-commerce’ which future scenarios for the food service they expect. In these scenarios they contrast the uncertainties of ‘platformisation’ and the role of data (see illustration). Because the likelihood of each quadrant is about the same, companies will have to prepare for all of these four scenarios. Source: Expert group 2B food – Shopping Tomorrow Organizational competences To remain successful in the future, parties in the food sector must develop new competencies. The most important are: E-commerce via platforms Data science Collaborate in networks All food companies must master these new competences. That can easily start. For example at the level of experiments and smart, not too large, investments. By focusing on all four scenarios, you are optimally prepared for the future as a company. Knowing more? All scenarios and the required competencies are discussed in more detail in the expert group’s bluepaper. You can download the bluepaper here free of charge . Reading tip: The aforementioned bluepaper is also included in the book ‘ The Future of the Journey ‘ by Shopping Tomorrow, a knowledge network for digital commerce in the Netherlands. Shopping Tomorrow brings e-commerce professionals together in an exclusive and active network, with the aim of providing insights for the industry. The bluepaper has been written by 15 food experts. This article contains parts of the bluepaper. It was compiled by Martin van Dam , chairman of the expert group and partner at GROUP7 , Bureau for Food-commerce. Food is emotion. Do your texts hit the sensitive chord? Try CopyRobin for free Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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