This month, WeiserMazars LLP released its second annual U.S. Food & Beverage Industry Study, which found that sector decision-makers anticipate growth in sales, profit and employment for 2014.
The study is based on a survey of a selection of companies across the food and beverage industry. Major findings include an increase of 13% in average sales from 2012 to 2013, and a 17% increase in average net profits. Median labor costs and commodity prices both grew by 4% over 2012, with median fuel and energy costs increasing by 9%. Despite this modest increase in costs, respondents to the survey stated that 2014 will mark a period of anticipated growth due to a larger spike in sales.
Survey respondents predicted that the most important industry factors influencing sales growth in 2014 will be new customers (39%), improved sales performance (21%) and new products (17%). A majority of participants also believe that increased sales will primarily be in the areas of healthy nutritious foods (31%), private labeled foods (22%), organic foods (14%), and locally grown/produced foods (13%).