The UK food industry: latest trends
As the country went into lockdown in March 2020, the UK witnessed food and drink grocery sales peak at over £3bn, with supermarkets seeing huge increases in demand. With 25% of the UK population now shopping for food online, retailers were challenged with managing online demand. This rapid shift boosted innovation and technology adoption within the industry. Retailing is fast becoming a technology game, with those who deliver most effectively against the new consumer needs for efficiency and hygiene winning customer loyalty and increasing market share.
The UK consumer
Consumers are looking for quality food and drink products, particularly those that are convenient and with perceived health benefits. In light of the pandemic, shoppers are becoming more educated and are increasingly looking for food and drink to support stronger, healthier lifestyles. Moreover, there is a growing interest in sustainable products, driven by more ‘green consumers’.
Opportunities and challenges
UK consumers are early adopters so food trends are well received. It is therefore a good market to test new products in, with many opportunities for Swiss food and drink companies to trade. Yet, it is a very competitive market, which requires thorough research, effective branding, and a strong marketing strategy.
Getting ready for market entry
The importance of local market knowledge is crucial to make sure your brand is accepted in international markets. Exporters should make sure to check their food labelling regulations and meet safety standards before approaching buyers. To stand out from the competition, make sure you have a strong online presence that highlights the USP of your product. The type of buyer that you decide to approach depends on the nature of your product. Your choice of route to market depends on your business objectives; the fundamental question is which route will be most effective at introducing your product to the consumer you are targeting.