As much as we’re all thrilled to be getting back to something resembling normal – as evidenced by our triumphant return to Expo West – it’s clear we still face a host of challenges.
Despite slow but steady progress, supply chain problems persist. And the costs keep piling up. NielsenIQ estimates that consumer packaged goods (CPG) shortages, and empty shelves, cost U.S. retailers at least $82 billion in lost sales last year.
Inflation rates we haven’t seen in a generation are hurting retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers – not to mention the consumers they’re trying to serve. For example, Wells Fargo analysts predicted Super Bowl parties were 8% to 14% more expensive than in 2021. Meat and soft drinks drove most of those increases. And that guacamole? Don’t double-dip. Prices were up 100% over last year’s big game.
The bakery business offers a stark microcosm of the broader food and beverage business. Based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, the Consumer Price Index for baked goods and cereal products jumped 1.7% in January, outpacing other food-at-home cost increases. The spikes were the largest since the earliest days of the pandemic.
But there’s also abundant cause for optimism. Younger consumers have changing priorities and are willing – if not eager – to pay more for products that align with their values. According to the 2021 Piper Sandler report, Generation Z – with their $29 billion to $143 billion in buying power – rank food at the top of their spending list, and they care about “sustainability, nutritional value, and the ethics of the corporations who make what they eat.”
Functional ingredients – and their surge in popularity – present another considerable growth opportunity. Nearly two-thirds of consumers want functional food and drink options, and one analyst report suggests that the functional beverage market alone will be worth more than $158 billion by 2023.
Plant-based proteins and private label brands represent other avenues of growth that manufacturers and retailers alike can capitalize on if they move quickly.
Whether your team is working through supply chain challenges, seizing market opportunities, or both, we’d love to meet with you at Expo West to discuss how TraceGains can help manufacturers find alternative suppliers and accelerate new product development.
And since we’re home to the only network tailored to suppliers, we offer instant access to a unique ingredient supplier marketplace built on an ecosystem of nearly 20,000 suppliers and service providers. When brands need a new supplier, whether it’s simply for a new ingredient or because the legacy supply chain is broken, we take time and error out of the process.
Set up a time right now to meet with the TraceGains team at Expo West to find out how our unique supplier and services ecosystem can help you trim the fat at every step of product development, from formula creation to procurement, and beyond.
We’ll be giving away a $250 gift card each day of the show to a new friend who swings by our booth – so make sure you head on over to Hall A, Booth 439 for your chance to win.