If one goes back a year, then many believed that the forecast of 9% food inflation was over exaggerated and that it would average out at 5-6%. This month, the figure is over 19% and is expected to hit 20%. No one could predict the challenges which have faced operators and companies in 2022. It has been a brutal and challenging environment.
As is so often the case, out of such times, comes many good pieces which offer light at the end of the tunnel:
- It will be fair to say that the desire for openness and collaboration is stronger today than ever. Companies want to work alongside operators to find new solutions. This should result in a stronger narrative emerge and greater levels of trust once again be found across the sector.
- For food service companies, there is a real opportunity to develop new narratives to communicate their story to market far better than has previously been the case.
- There is a stronger understanding that food service does play a central role in enticing employees back to offices, so how can this be enhanced?
- However, there is still a need to convince the CFOs in companies and organisations as to the best to ensure strong cultures and productivity and this opens the door for food service
- There is also a strong discussion emerging as to how food service can play a supportive role to employees in this cost of living crisis. What can be done?
- The dramatic rise in food costs is naturally making many rethink the produce they buy, and the recipes cooked. Are there lessons from the past which can useful today? How can culinary behaviours be changed?
- Are there new models which can be better for this time?
- There is a stronger focus on immersive experiences and how food service can play a broader role in developing new revenue lines.
The media has naturally focused on the challenges facing all at this time and there is little doubt that it is challenging every operator and organisation to even a higher level than the pandemic but out of it, may well emerge no little good.
Food service companies, all across the world, are developing stronger roles in community, in their social purpose, in innovation, with talent from disadvantaged backgrounds, in sustainability and localism. It can be their moment to tell their stories far better than has been the case as audiences do now want to hear and listen.
All markets evolve. Nothing ever stays the same and the next few years will see new solutions, models and narratives emerge. There will greater transparency, stronger collaboration and greater trust be rekindled.
Out of the dark times could well emerge a strong new era.
Fuelling Productivity is about creating a forum for progressive discussion, sharing of ideas between operators, consultants and organisations. It is about collaboration to develop better understanding.