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.