The pandemic has produced a tale of two consumers: those who turned to alcohol and junk food and the 75% of consumers who sought out healthier options.
The wellness-minded majority drove sales of natural, organic, and functional foods and beverages up 13% in 2020, blowing past analyst expectations of more moderate growth to produce $186 billion in revenue.
New Hope Network Content Lead Carlotta Mast highlighted the industry’s explosive growth during her presentation at the company’s Spark Brand Success virtual conference.
She attributes the record year to “dramatic shifts to eating more meals at home, through the quarantine, and surging consumer interest in healthier foods and beverages, and health and wellness products.”
Mast added that the future for natural and organic food and beverages remains bright as the United States begins its long climb out of quarantine.
“Nearly every organic food and beverage category did well in the United States last year, including dairy, which saw some headwinds over the last few years, but last year this category benefited from consumers stocking up on organic milk during the pandemic,” Mast added.
This niche outpaced the rest of the food and beverage market, with robust sales growth of 8.6% in 2020.
“We anticipate we’ll see conventional food and beverage sales growth continue to lag significantly behind natural, organic, and functional once we are out of the pandemic and retailers large and small continue to make more space for our industry’s products,” Mast said.
It Takes A Village
With such rapid growth across the industry and no sign of slowing demand, how are companies expected to do more with less?
The answer lies in focusing on efforts that boost supply chain collaboration. Strategic supplier relationships are especially crucial for organic food and beverage manufacturers to deliver the high-quality, safe products consumers demand. But far too many fail to leverage suppliers as collaborators, especially when drafting and updating specifications. This disconnect leads to drawn-out negotiations over attributes and tolerances and other downstream problems.
Under the best circumstances, maintaining meticulous and updated raw material and finished goods specifications is cumbersome when manufacturers need version control, authorization, and clear audit trails. And partners trade data over email and voicemail, making it increasingly difficult to track status, agreements, or supporting documentation.
Poor collaboration substantially impacts specification management programs when teams can’t see what others are doing, status is unclear, and progress grinds to a halt. How can stakeholders have confidence they’re working on the correct version, and an essential attribute wasn’t overwritten along the way? If you’re managing specs like this, there’s a better way.
Preparing for Increased Demand
With TraceGains Specification Management, teams can draft, publish, and update raw material and finished goods specifications with suppliers and co-manufacturers over a networked platform that streamlines and automates document and information exchange. Food, beverage, and supplements companies find, on average, 80% of their suppliers already on TraceGains, making it easy to connect with their suppliers, items, and ingredients.
Want to learn more? Join TraceGains for a webinar to learn how networked Specification Management transforms your specification program, increasing supply chain collaboration, reducing costs, improving product quality, and controlling risk. Together with TraceGains, natural, organic, and functional food companies can establish a world-class Specification Management program and work with suppliers to meet future demand. Sign up for our webinar here.