Food and drink market research

At the retail level, the global food and beverage market is worth close to USD10 trillion a year and is growing at around 5% a year. Food and drink accounts for around 90% of global sales of fast-moving consumer goods (the other 10% is made of up non-food items such as personal care and cleaning products).

The largest markets are China and the USA, with India a distant third, although India is expected to see the highest growth of any major market, driven by rapid expansion of the middle classes. The top five food and drink markets in Europe are collectively worth around the same as the US market, which has a similar total population.

Despite global growth, increased consumer awareness of health and environmental impacts, a trend for natural ingredients, and shifting regulations may pose some challenges for the industry’s manufacturers and retailers.

In the UK, food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector, employing nearly 400,000 people, and contributing GBP28.2 billion to the economy.

FieldworkHub has carried out a wide variety of projects in the food and drink sector. For example, we recruited over a hundred respondents in less than a week to take part in supervised taste tests and we also recruited 40 consumers in each of the UK, France, Germany and Italy to take part in focus group discussions on food shopping habits and their interests in sustainability. In addition we found London-based drinkers and bartenders to give their views on a new dispenser that a major beer brand was planning to roll out and recruited buyers of premium gin in South Africa to help assess the market for a craft gin brand.


Two glasses of Turkish raki on a table with bowls of snacks and an open bottle of water in the background

Qualitative research in Germany into purchasing and consumption of alcoholic beverages

Our client wanted to conduct 75-minute interviews with Turkish migrants in Germany who regularly purchase and consume raki drinks to understand how widely recognised their brand name was, what attributes they associated with the brand and what factors were important to respondents when selecting these drinks. Our work involved providing the project management of the fieldwork process, including finding and booking suitable facilities and recruiting over 15 participants who met the client's quotas. In order to accommodate language barriers and time constraints, our services included the arrangement of both in home and in facility face-to-face interviews with interpreters being present for all interviews.

Close up of beer can

Face-to-face taste testing research in London

Analytical Flavor Systems (AFS) is a US-based predictive analytics company for the consumer packaged goods and food & beverage industries. AFS was carrying out taste tests with large groups in many different countries and due to last-minute schedule changes, FieldworkHub was asked to arrange the groups in London with less than one week’s notice. We recruited 100 taste tasting participants to take part in the first day of testing and helped AFS to select 25 participants from the original group for two more days of testing. We also arranged venues and incentives for all three days and bought in items to be tasted and serving supplies.

Three cocktails with a bar and liquor bottles in the background

Online interviews about consumption of premium alcohol brands in South Africa

Our client wanted to conduct 30-minute online interviews via Skype with South African consumers who regularly purchased clear spirits (gin/vodka etc) in bars or restaurants to understand their brand preferences and views about standard and premium brands and test out some marketing concepts that they were developing. In less than three weeks, we recruited and screened over 20 respondents and arranged for our client to speak to all of them.