The dynamic U.S. food and beverage industry is driven by constantly shifting consumer trends, increased competition and constant innovation. To remain competitive, it is important for companies to continually evaluate their business models and offerings. Executives are cautiously optimistic about the future, reporting slower growth than anticipated over the last 12 months. Although top line growth was modest, companies continue to invest in product innovation and infrastructure refinement. With a new emphasis on expanding customer bases in existing markets, fewer companies are looking to expand into new territories. Deeply entrenched in their communities and with their customers, companies appreciate the impact and value of brand recognition.