Growing product diversification in the food
and beverage industry

In the past years, the food trade recorded considerable changes affecting all sectors of the industry and all food groups. It is expected that these trends will continue. While demand for meat, sugar and alcoholic beverages is steadily reducing, there is a rising demand for fruit, vegetables and cereals.

At the same time, product categories that represent a cross section of all food groups such as convenience products, functional food, novel food, genetically modified, exotic as well as ecologically and regionally grown foods gain increasing importance. This enormous diversification entails the need for substantial modifications in the structure of food supply on the one hand and cause consumers to change their behaviour on the other hand.

An average household buys convenience goods some 190 times a year. With every purchase, the consumer decides whether to buy a trade or a manufacturer's brand, a product in the premium price segment or the market introduction price segment, a full fat or reduced fat product. Consumers also like to choose between various packaging sizes. In short, they want to find the product that suits their life style, eating habits and mood.

Growth markets in the food sector:
Convenience - Wellness - Gourmet

Source:
German Federation for Food Law and Food Science GfK group
(Germany's largest market research institute)

Implications of this trend

  • Increasing number of products and product varieties
  • Smaller batch sizes are ordered per product variety
  • Reduced packaging sizes in response to the rising number of one-person households as compared to multi-person households
  • Rising complexity of storage and order picking processes due to a larger product variety which involves handling of products with slow, medium and fast turnover

Logistics requirements

  • Efficient storage of an extremely wide product range and permanent accessibility of all products on stock
  • Customised picking solutions to increase productivity
Type of goods stocked on pallets January - June 2013

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