The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated the global foodservice industry in the short term, while radically accelerating existing trends. Surging investment in delivery and online ordering has combined with massive new demand for prepared meals consumed at home. This briefing serves as a guide to the current state of play, whilst discussing a number of key strategies for the next five years.
The collapse in eat-in sales during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic revealed significant advantages for chains, which were able to turn to drive-through, delivery and takeaway to a much greater degree than the average independent.
Emerging markets remain far less important to the largest foodservice chains than they are for consumer goods manufacturers like Unilever or Nestlé.
As more capital pours into delivery as a service, encompassing more and more businesses, the concept of delivery as a utility is starting to form – no longer a differentiator, but a necessary component of most businesses, like water or power or payment services.
Going forward, the distinction between grocery and foodservice is expected to blur further, as operators in both channels increasingly fulfil meal demand via delivery. Over time, this delivery meal fulfilment channel is expected to account for a growing portion of all food and drink demand.
The strategies used to drive high-margin drinks and food sales via the on-trade, particularly limited-service restaurants, will face real pressure in the delivery era, as consumers demand new options.
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