Page 25 - Food & Drink Magazine Jan-Feb 21
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                TRENDS FORECAST 2021
  shift in business models without a capable, committed and expert workforce.
New flexible ways of working will unlock productivity across industry. Add to this adaptation and innovation, especially a holistic approach to collaboration across the supply chain, and industry has the tools to deal with efficiency challenges as the market continues to recover.
One direct impact on industry in 2020 was a noticeable shift in the values which drove consumer spending, specifically the role of the brand in people’s psyches. Brands equated with comfort, prestige and familiarity. Consumers treated themselves to known brand products to the detriment of house and private label brands.
As we move into 2021, brands linked to optimism and positivity are likely to flourish during the post-pandemic times ahead. Brands will become a big part of the post-pandemic recovery and 2021 will see the rise of strong smart brands.
GOVERNMENT POLICY FOR INNOVATION AND GROWTH With the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy putting food and beverage manufacturing front and centre of a post-pandemic recovery, industry takes this cue to work with government on a number of reforms which drive manufacturing competitiveness.
The Australian Beverages Council has, on behalf of its members, presented to governments its post-
coronavirus recovery blueprint, which maps out a suite of concrete ideas for policy reforms to bolster investment in the sector including business tax reform; a better industrial relations environment, recognising new flexible ways of working; investment in skills development for future manufacturing; and reliable and well-priced energy.
SUSTAINABILITY THE KEY TO FUTURE SUCCESS People have had a chance in 2020 to step back and realise what’s important in life. This is a fundamental shift in consumers’ conscience. Most are more aware of being mindful consumers.
We believe there is going to be a greater social conscience in people’s spending coming out of the pandemic, especially in regard to sustainability, community causes and
the environment.
We see industry accelerating its use of recycled product and consumers increasing their involvement in recycling schemes, such as the many container deposit schemes around the nation.
There is also deeper investment by government into creating better functioning rule sets that enable improved, smarter recycling of waste products. This will move Australia much more towards
a circular economy.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS CONTINUES TO RISE Alongside the social conscience comes an increased commitment to consumer health. The exponential rise we have seen in consumption of
products in the bottled water category will continue, as will the kombucha trend.
The growth in healthier products such as alcohol removed wines and alcohol free, probiotic beers and similar beverages will continue.
In many respects the COVID-19 pandemic created the impetus for the beverage industry to accelerate its investments in sustainability, to position us well for the “Great Reset”.
A more socially aware buying public will seek out an industry well across the challenges of being more environmentally mindful in its manufacturing and distribution.
A more savvy set of consumers want an industry that can meet them where they are – whether that’s on e-commerce or back in traditional channels.
And a government interested in modern manufacturing knows the Australian beverage sector can make the most of smart investments in workplace and skills reform, energy policy and a more rational taxation system. ✷
OPPOSITE: Remedy Drinks’ Wild Berry kombucha, launched in late 2020, with no sugar and the official recommendation tick from I Quit Sugar.
ABOVE: Naked Life added non-alcoholic RTD spritzes and sugar-free iced teas to its existing soda and tonic range.
RIGHT: Dairy Farmers expanded its A2 protein milk range with two market firsts – a flavoured variety with 25 per cent less sugar, and a probiotic white milk. | January/February 2021 | Food&Drink business | 25

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