Page 24 - Food & Drink Magazine Jan-Feb 21
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                TRENDS FORECAST 2021
From crisis comes leadership
The Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker looks at lessons from 2020 and their impact on trends for 2021.
IT’S no exaggeration to say that 2020 has been a year to remember. The beverages industry is no exception with a year that started with supporting communities during fires and floods and which quickly pivoted to supply households through retail outlets as the country went
into lockdown.
The industry’s performance
during the pandemic has demonstrated its ability to adapt to radically shifting circumstances, anticipate change in the operating environment and invest to ensure consumer needs are met.
While the pandemic is still
with us as we head into 2021, we can start to see the outline of a post-pandemic world. In his new book, the head of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab describes the pandemic as an opportunity for a “Great Reset” – to focus business investment not simply on recovering lost sales but to create industries that are set up for the long-term objectives of consumers and society as a whole.
The popular slogan for this thinking is “Build Back Better”.
The fact that throughout 2020, the Australian beverages industry showed an underpinning of resilience and sustained or even accelerated
investment confirms we are leading the way in building back better.
These strengths could be seen in areas like sustainability with recycled packaging, energy and water initiatives, and reduction in sugar commitments.
The continued growth in no sugar products, waters and kombucha were led by increasing consumer demand.
So, as we move into a new and hopefully brighter year, industry’s lessons from this year dominate our approach to 2021. Let’s look at the main areas of focus.
CONSUMER PURCHASING BEHAVIOUR HAS CHANGED The channel migration from on to off-premise purchasing, which started in 2020 will continue. Consumers are buying more from grocery channels, in larger quantities, and are often having these orders fulfilled via e-commerce. This will continue to impact packaging decisions.
Expect to see larger pack sizes and multipacks, and fewer single serve beverages. Shifts
in marketing behaviour to capture both home-based and social-based purchases will also emerge with more
focus on digital channels.
THE BUSINESS VALUE OF THE WORKFORCE The beverage industry’s workforce commitment
during 2020, with many deciding the right and smart things to do was whatever it
took to retain workers, means it has the strength and speed to bounce back as conditions improve. Simply put, industry
  24 | Food&Drink business | January/February 2021 |
“ A more socially aware buying public
will seek out an industry well across the challenges of being more environmentally mindful in its manufacturing.”
could not have executed the

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