The global beverage industry is driven by more than simple beverages these days. The multi-dimensional consumer is transforming the beverage industry, changing how professionals in the field indulge specific preferences and tastes. Reports suggest that growth is high within the beverage industry, not to mention the F&B industry as a whole.
Factors such as streamlined manufacturing, improvements in chain facilities and technological advancements all contribute to the significant growth the global beverage industry currently enjoys.
To gain actionable insight on current beverage trends and its impact on the industry’s job market, read on below.
1. The use of hyper-local ingredients
The demand for locally produced food, and in this case, beverages, indicates no sign of stopping. Manufacturers must address this intensifying demand by increasing their corporate social responsibility, sourcing ingredients that are hyper-local, meaning they must use ingredients produced within a reasonable radius from their base of operation.
Expect to see the growth of family-owned production and manufacturers that employ farm-to-counter sustainability methods. These small producers will highlight the current consumer demand for fresh, higher quality ingredients and healthier options.
2. The importance of transparency
Similar to farm-to-counter demands, transparency remains on the rise. Ethical and environmental considerations must be made to address the growing importance of providing detailed information on beverage packaging. Sourcing and safety must be clearly indicated on the label to note when a beverage product is branded as “natural.”
Transparency extends beyond labels, though. It is also about addressing where your ingredients are being sourced from and how the beverage products reflect personal lifestyle choices.
As such, businesses in need of top talent are increasingly seeking the help of employment agencies to find prospective employees who are advocates of healthy living and good health. Candidates that remain in demand are those with the professional experience that reflects shared values of transparency and a passion toward healthy eating.
3. The emergence of new business models
The new social dynamics are creating new beverage players that are bucking the trend on how the food and beverage industry is addressing and meeting consumer needs. Emerging business models are looking to the new conscious decisions of consumers, creating startup companies that are good for the consumer’s pocketbook, environment and social awareness. Many startups are employing crowd-sourcing to research and develop their product approach.
Other models such as like in-home delivery services address the need of busy consumers still looking for healthy alternatives to their food and beverage needs.
While industry leaders are still important players, smaller companies are attracting beverage professionals who are looking to challenge themselves and work in innovative and demanding work environments. Candidates know that these smaller companies may be the key to delivering on experiences that feature a diverse range of opportunities for career growth.
4. Employing big data
This era of digital transformation means big changes for the food and beverage industry. Manufacturers are now able to employ big data to make better decisions on consumer demands, behaviors, forecasting, market reach, and even create improvements in supply chain processes and demand planning.
The digitization of data means manufacturers can leverage information to enable well-informed future strategies, through the use of predictive analytics and data science. By harnessing the power of big data, manufacturers are empowered to make quick, sound decision-making to improve overall customer experience.
Expect many manufacturers to partner with third party data firms or formulate their own in-house big data specialists to expand the adoption of big data across various aspects of their business.
Recruitment may also become more targeted with businesses using technology such as data analytics combined with online headhunter platforms to find the best person for each of their job openings.
5. The changing role of staffing
Specific skill sets are required to innovate within an industry such as food and beverage. The growth of specialty diets and functional beverages (such as the rise of kombucha) requires specific skills in product development and innovation.
Food science and engineering roles are transitioning from quality assurance and control to innovation and development to address the growing changes in consumer preferences and demands.
As these emerging changes occur, skill shortages are on the rise, particularly due to many manufacturers working in silos and competing for market shares. This will make it difficult for many to pursue increased productivity, innovation and product development.
The growing specialization of roles within the beverage industry means hiring managers must juggle priorities to match current skills to job requirements.
The beverage industry is a dynamic sector, continually adapting to new consumers, new preferences, and new demands. As such, the industry is undergoing changes to be able to address the challenges which lay before it.
For those looking to pursue a career in the food and beverage industry, there is no better time than now to make the leap.
A passionate recruiter with more than 12 years in the executive search industry, Payal Bhatia is an international headhunter and business partner for RM & Associates in the MENA region specializing in the FMCG, retail, telecom and engineering sectors.