2014 US Food & Beverage Industry Study

We are pleased to present the final results of our 2014 study, which examines the US industry's trends and challenges.

To assist Food & Beverage decision-makers, WeiserMazars in conjunction with The Food Institute, AFI and Stagnito Business Information, is pleased to present our second annual Food & Beverage Industry Study. This study offers benchmarks against which to assess 2013 performance, insights into potential drivers for the industry in 2014, and best practices to stay ahead of the competition.

2013 was expected to be a significant year for the Food & Beverage industry, with the majority of respondents looking forward to growth in sales, profit and employment.  Most of the sales growth is projected to be from new customers and a more effective sales force.  Healthy/nutritious food and private label food also continue to be major growth drivers.  Participants expressed the most concern about rising commodity costs and food safety, traceability and quality.  A majority of participants are well prepared to meet Affordable Care Act requirements and expect to focus operational resources on process-improvement activities and digital media and social marketing. 

Key findings:

  • Participants anticipate better financial performance in 2014
    77 percent of participants anticipated increased sales in 2013 and 54 percent anticipated increased net profits
  • Better financial performance is spurring investment in Labor
    54 percent of participants anticipated increased employment
  • A majority expect Labor Costs to grow in 2014
    63 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in labor costs in 2014, with 47 percent anticipating an increase in commodity prices, and 45 percent an increase in fuel/energy costs

Top 3 factors influencing sales growth

  • New customers (39 percent)
  • Improved sales performance (21 percent)
  • New products (17 percent)

Top 3 business concerns

  • Rising commodity and other costs
  • Food safety, traceability, and quality-assurance
  • Ability to develop new products/services

Panel & Methodology

  • The majority of participants were wholesalers/distributors (39 percent) and manufacturers (34 percent).
  • Study participants represented a range of annual sales volumes — 22 percent with $10 million or less; 44 percent with $10.1 million to $100 million; and 25 percent with sales of more than $100 million. 
  • Coordinated by an independent research firm, through an online questionnaire. Responses were received from October to December 2013

2015 Edition:

We are seeking the views of industry leaders and decision makers to help define industry concerns and uncover industry trends.

 To participate in the 2015 Food & Beverage Industry Study and gain answers to critical industry questions, please click here.

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