On a quarterly basis, GHJ hosts a food and beverage executive roundtable dinner. At these dinners, we bring together 10 to 15 food and beverage executives to discuss topical industry issues and the impact on their businesses. This month’s topic revolved around the subject of food and beverage technology, including social media, sustainability, health and wellness, distribution channels and manufacturing equipment; how companies are using current technology to enhance their businesses; and what are the technologies that are trending.
Some of the highlights of the discussion focused on the following:
- Online food delivery services
- The effect of the drought and water reduction efforts
- New technology in grocery and nutritional apps
Online food delivery services
There was a lively discussion on grocery delivery services and how food companies are either affected by these daily delivery services or how they are participating in these ventures. In particular, discussions revolved around grocery delivery giants Amazon Fresh and Instacart, a 24/7 online grocery shopping and same day delivery service that Forbes Magazine earlier this year called “America’s most promising startup.” In January, Instacart raised $220 million in venture capital, and the company is now valued at $2 billion. In addition, there are other food companies that are making their presence in food delivery such as Walmart, Whole Foods and even Uber, which announced in April that they were launching its food delivery service in four cities: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Barcelona.
The effect of the drought and water reduction efforts
In the area of water conservation, there was consensus from the group that water conservation was a very high concern, and that food companies are looking at many ways to save and recirculate water use, if possible,. There is an interesting report from Global Water intelligence (GWI), the leading publisher of business data and information about the global water industry, on how companies are saving water in food and beverage production called “Water for Food & Beverage: opportunities in water efficiency and gaining value from wastewater.”
The report used research drawn from the larger commercial producers with particular reference to the top-50 global companies in the sector and included nearly 40 in-depth interviews with water technology companies and major food and beverage companies, such as Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Nestle and Carlsberg.
New technology in grocery and nutritional apps
Lastly, there are several new apps, such as TellSpec, that allow consumers to scan and view the nutritional values of products while shopping or, better yet, allow the consumer to identify all ingredients contained in products. This is particularly important for consumers that may be gluten intolerant, have other types of allergies or are interested in knowing what is included in the food products they are buying.
If you are interested in attending one of our food and beverage executive roundtable dinners, please let me know at email@example.com, and I can provide you more information.
About Don Snyder (partner at GHJ)
Don has over 25 years of experience in public accounting and heads the firm’s Food and Beverage Practice in addition to chairing the firm’s Assurance and Advisory Department and Quality Control Department. He provides audit, accounting and consulting service to clients in numerous industries, including manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, restaurant, food and beverage, nonprofit and technology. He is a well-known business consultant in the food distribution, food processing and manufacturing industries.