In the extremely competitive food and beverage industry, companies are changing the way they do business. With a continuing sluggish economic climate, executives are revamping traditional sales models, focusing on innovation, packaging, and generating new products. Further, they are evaluating new market strategies and seeking acquisition opportunities as a vehicle for growth. While sales are on the rise, gross profit margins struggle to remain stable or perhaps reflect small declines, and companies will likely need to focus on streamlining infrastructures, improving efficiency, and reducing costs where possible. Further, increased concern over labor costs looms in the shadow of the Affordable Care Act. Yet, in spite of the challenges, the industry is optimistic, predicting continued increased sales and work forces as well as an economy rebound within 18 months.

GHJ recently conducted its annual Food and Beverage Industry Survey with west-coast business owners and executives. A follow-up to the 2012 survey, this year’s results reveal that the industry continues to make modest improvements with an overwhelming majority of respondents reporting increases in sales for 2012. Even more executives predict continued growth for 2013.

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