The end of the food industry as we know it
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The Food Institute forecasts eating away-from-home sales growth will outpace at-home in 2019, according to its “An Honest Look at 2019 Food Industry Trends.” Brian Todd, President of The Food Institute, predicts 5.1% growth for eating and drinking places in the coming year and 2.8% growth for food and beverage stores. Among the trends for 2019, The Food Institute sees plant-based foods, cannabis, and updated vending concepts growing in popularity. Fuel and driver issues will continue to be problem areas for the distribution sector, while Amazon will remain a company to watch as it expands its capabilities in brick-and-mortar, meal kits, private label, and even drone delivery. “I believe we’ll see many companies following this trend of using technology to update traditional service models, as we see the merging of convenience, local, and trying to meet consumer demand for something natural and locally produced,” commented Todd. Additionally, presenters from noted this may be “the end of the food industry as we know it,” adding that other key themes for 2018 and beyond include the shifts behind the shift—the way consumers live, work and play—and the highest forms of entrepreneurship the industry has ever seen. The firm’s President, Debra Bachar, said areas of disruption include food delivery, deep discounters and private labels, voice technology, and the alignment of food and healthcare, while Senior Advisor Bill Pierrakeas detailed the drive behind increasing levels of investment in food industry startups. They added that venture capital investment results from industry giants have been mixed, and the strategy of established companies buying emerging competitors once they reach a certain scale is yielding diminishing returns.