The businesses that make and supply prepared food and beverage products are known as ‘food service’ businesses. South Australia’s food service sector offers a broad range of food and beverage to sectors including retail, catering, events and festivals, cafes, residential dining, corporate hospitality, airlines and fine dining services.
BIS Shrapnel, who carry out major food service industry research, are moderately optimistic about the food service sector in the short term, and very optimistic in the long term.
In Australia, eating out is a way of life. While people may trade down to cheaper options during an economic downturn, they will continue to eat out. Recent research shows that even since the Global Financial Crisis, Australians are eating out more often, but spending less on average each time. Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) in the middle of the market are experiencing increased custom – and it is critical that South Australian businesses get the best advice to help them make the most of any opportunities.
Food producers seeking to move into the role of food service providers will need a deep understanding of their business before making this step.
A producer may wish expand from selling into Farmer’s Markets or supermarkets into the food service sector. If you are considering this, you will need to consider the different requirements of food service customers, for example they generally require much larger packaging sizes and sometimes specialist packaging for use with their equipment. On the other hand, the packaging and labelling design may not need to be as sophisticated as what you are using to sell to consumers directly but it should still consistent with your brand.
FoodMAP by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is a comprehensive comparative analysis of food distribution channels for major categories within the Australian food industry, from food producer to consumer. It summarises the key features of a food industry that continues to undergo change, with significant opportunities and challenges at a category level.
A food producer manufacturer may also hire a food service brokerage company to help break into a new market, through established food service distribution networks.