Private Label products need analysis of the current industry. The overall restaurant industry figures are in. According to the graphic above, food service products will surpass $798 billion in sales in 2017. This is incredible. Figures don't lie, and knowing that the industry has sustained seven straight years of growth, and has consistently outperformed other sectors in the U.S. economy over that time means it is a very stable opportunity. This strength and stability of the overall market make it an ideal climate for innovation and growth.
Thisfoodservice industry market is vast and filled with opportunity for companies like you who want to produce private label products. Operators make more than $200B in food and beverage purchases and there are well over 1.2 million restaurant locations here in the USA making these purchases. If you multiply that by the influences that have a say in the everyday decisions on food and beverage, technology, equipment, the opportunities are endless! So as a food company, or manufacturer of food/beverage products, the question is what can you do to get your products into the foodservice industry?
Distribution Channels – This huge foodservice industry is made up of various channels that prepare food and sell ready-to-eat food items, meals and snacks. More than just restaurants in fine-dining and fast casual; they make up a huge portion of the overall market. It will also include hospitality businesses, hotels, bars, schools, catering companies, airlines, sports venues, just to name a few. If your company is interested in working with large chains, emerging growth chains, multi-concepts, high-volume independents or onsite establishments, it’s important to know the channel where your products best fit in. Awareness is critical as you need to know how those companies prefer to do business. For instance do they buy products direct or through distribution, or do they only work locally, or on a large scale? It will be important that you know about the foodservice channel you are targeting, the better you can demonstrate how your products can be valuable to them and the more likely they are to do business with you.
Product Portions – Volume is key to foodservice buyers. Larger establishments require higher quantities of products and you need to be able to provide your products in larger portions. Even smaller establishments must be able to scale food products to work within their recipes and menu selections. The foodservice channel you are trying to get into does require product volume requirements.
Product Packaging – There are many food companies with products in retail establishments such as large supermarkets, local grocery stores, or in wholesale outlets. Please note that products on retail shelves are packaged very differently than those in foodservice establishments. In fact, packaging in foodservices is all about convenience and stability and not so much about labeling and how it looks. Many foodservice items come in bags or with easy-to-use features like pour spouts, stackables, or quick-grab handles just to name a few. Your packaging doesn’t have to look good, but it does have to be as functional as possible in a foodservice environment.
Price Points – Are you aware of price sensitivities in your market? Profit margins can be lower, but volume is greater. Be aware of nationwide consumer trends. It is highly likely that this understanding can influence decisions on menu pricing at restaurants, which creates a trickle-down factor for food buyers. Understanding the current spending trends across different demographic groups affect how restaurants might account for that in pricing strategies. Factors like location, consistency and timing are factors that foodservice operators are aware of and knowing their challenges will help you set pricing for your products.
Product Branding & Awareness – Staying top of those involved in the foodservice industry is critical especially if you are targeting large chains, emerging growth chains, multi-concepts, high-volume independents and onsite establishments. Buyers and influencers in these channels span marketing, operations, technology, culinary, finance franchise, supply chain, human resources and foodservice directors across the board. This is where target-specific marketing, might be your most effective route to getting your products into the mix. When you place print or online ads in a target-specific brand, you are marketing directly to a specific target audience rather than a general one. Zeroing in on a market niche that is engaged and interested in the type of product or service you’re offering is the best way to gain visibility and awareness of your products.
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Industry Source: Restaurant News
To find out more about the foodservice industry and food retail, we invite you to consider Restaurant News as a source of what's going on in the industry. As a trusted authority on foodservice and food retail, our network of brands can effectively reach the restaurant, noncommercial foodservice and food retail industry. Nation’s Restaurant News is the preeminent foodservice brand and boasts the most trafficked website in all of foodservice. Restaurant Hospitality is the premier resource dedicated to the success of the professional restaurateur. Food Management has the largest audience for the noncommercial/onsite foodservice community. And Supermarket News is the brand food retail professions count on for the intelligence they need to make smart business decisions.