Joel Warady, CFBN Chairman & President of Catalina Crunch.
I trust the year has started out well for all of you. As is always the case with a new year, it is an opportunity to start fresh, set new and attainable goals, and put as much of last year behind us as we commence 2021.
For those of you who know me, I’m genuinely an optimistic person. I believe that there is a solution for every problem, an answer for every question, and ultimately, we tend to overcome the obstacles that we face. I’ve never felt this more than I do now as we enter this year and it is especially true for the Food & Beverage industry.
While we are encouraged by the fact that the vaccination process has started, we also recognize that the initiative has experienced a slow start and it is going to take us some time before 70% of the population has been vaccinated. This means that the eating at home trend will continue through Q3, and those companies that have benefited from increased meal consumption at home will continue to enjoy this uptick in revenue for the majority of 2021.
That said, both Foodservice and Restaurants will start to see their numbers go up as more people return to the office, and we get closer to herd immunity. The back half of the year should see significant increase in away-from-home consumption, and that will include restaurants, corporate cafeterias, as well as hotels and airport stores as an increasingly larger segment of the population feels comfortable traveling.
Another positive trend worth mentioning is the early indication that M&A as well as growth investments will continue to be made in the Food & Beverage category. In Chicago alone, we have already seen FONA Flavors successfully be acquired by McCormick, and Mondelez started the year with the acquisition of healthy startup Hu Master Holdings. Early indication is that this is the start of a very active year when it comes to Food & Beverage transactions.
I remain extremely bullish on the food and beverage category, and it truly is a great time to be in this space, in this city, surrounded by industry experts and professionals who are members of this great organization, CFBN. Let’s all work together as we are sure to deliver a great 2021!
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
802 Wesley Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60304
Tel (312) 525-9653