According to the first annual U.S. Food & Beverage Industry Study, released by WeiserMazars LLP, a leading accounting, tax and advisory services firm, food companies will look to new customers for the majority of increased product sales in 2013.
Survey participants, who were drawn from manufacturers and wholesalers/distributors across the food and beverage industry, are confident sales will increase 13 percent compared to 2011 and project net profits to rise by almost 6 percent. These solid gains, though, are offset by rising commodity and production costs, resulting in a modest net profit.
Survey participants expect that the most important industry factors influencing sales growth in 2013 will be new customers (59 percent), new products (51 percent) and increased selling prices (40 percent).
This inaugural study, a joint effort between WeiserMazars and The Food Institute, delved into the trends, performance, plans and challenges of food and beverage companies. The study offers food and beverage companies data against which to assess 2012 performance, insights into potential drivers for the industry in 2013, and best practices to stay ahead of the competition.
“The purpose of this study is to provide executives with comprehensive insight in comparing the state of their company to the overall Food & Beverage industry,” Louis J. Biscotti, partner and national director of WeiserMazars’ Food & Beverage Sector said in a prepared statement. “This benchmarking can provide organizations with insight into predicting realistic levels of growth in 2013.”
“With food prices forecast to move 3 percent to 4 percent higher this year, it is not surprising that the major concern among food and beverage companies surveyed was the cost of goods,” stated Brian Todd, president and CEO of The Food Institute. “Inflation almost entirely offset sales increases last year at grocery stores, with the Food Institute noting that sales in the sector increased less than 1 percent last year after inflation was taken into account, based on the association’s exclusive pricing indices.”
Survey participants included manufacturers and wholesalers/distributors representing a range of annual sales volumes from $10 million or less to more than $100 million. The survey addresses how these companies are adapting to changing consumer trends, proposed government regulations, new companies entering the field, and new product and service offerings. The WeiserMazars 2012 U.S. Food & Beverage Industry Study illuminates the ways that companies remain competitive and approach challenges, providing a valuable resource for all members of the industry.