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Top trends fuelling the transformation of the F&B industry

SA's leading trade event offers fresh insights for Africa's food value chain
Feeding a population of around 1.3 billion, the World Bank has predicted that Africa’s food and beverage (F&B) market will reach over US$1 trillion by 2030[1]. While the industry has faced significant challenges since the onset of Covid, especially in terms of delivery and supply chain management, the crisis has also served as a catalyst for innovation.

With international research forecasting a 7.99% compound annual growth rate for the African foodservice market over the next five years[2], Evan Schiff, portfolio director of food, hospitality and trade at dmg events says that the continent’s F&B industry has been quick to respond to changing consumer tastes and behaviour to ensure a robust and agile transformation.

The top trends driving this transformation will be explored at this year’s Africa’s Big 7 retail-ready F&B trade show, running from 19-21 June 2022 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Co-located with Africa’s most established multi-sectoral trade show, SAITEX, and the Halal International Trade Expo, the three-day event typically welcomes around 5,000 visitors and will showcase over 250 of the best local, regional and international partners within the F&B business, with exhibitors hailing from 26 countries across the continent.

“Consumer-centric trends continue to drive F&B innovation,” says Schiff, “and food professionals at this year’s face-to-face event will benefit from our innovative programme curated by Africa’s Big 7’s strong advisory board that promises strategic networking opportunities for buyers and brands, as well as expert insight and guidance on how to tap into these trends and unlock future growth opportunities.”

Below are some of the top trends shaping the F&B industry in 2022 which will be addressed at Africa’s Big 7.

Increased focus on sustainability

Studies show that consumer demand for sustainability within the F&B industry is gaining momentum. Displaying a marked shift to more sustainable shopping over the last few years, consumers are looking beyond eco-friendly packaging to other focus areas including solving the food waste challenge, health and nutrition, public hygiene and sanitation, as well as environment preservation.

Products with purpose

Accelerated by the pandemic, the market is also experiencing a growing demand for functional foods that deliver tangible benefits, such as immunity and stress management. Not only do consumers want products with purpose, but also food that offers greater diversity and transparency, which they feel should be aligned with their political, social and ethical values.

From bricks to clicks

The pandemic has expanded how and where consumers shop, resulting in rising demand for online shopping, meal-kits, and other delivery services. These shifting patterns in buying behaviour see retailers investing in omni-channel digital technologies, as well as influencer marketing and fulfilment strategies to solve their last-mile challenges.

Other key topics to be covered over the event include tapping into the township economy and disrupted food channels and building supply chain resilience through technology.

Fresh on-the-floor features

Two industry competitions return to the Africa’s Big 7 exhibition floor this year, both of which are open for public entry.

In the National Burger Challenge, local and amateur cooks will compete for a R5,000 cash prize, while amateur and professional bakers alike will also have an opportunity to shine in one of the many baking competitions taking place under the SA Bakers Challenge.

A new, exclusive feature included in this event is the Innovation Workshop, where participants will learn how to take an idea to launch in just three months, with insider support from Real Innovatrs.

“In its 19th year, Africa’s Big 7 is a must-attend event for all F&B professionals, offering a unique opportunity to connect with buyers across the continent, to source new products, develop new partnerships and conclude export and import deals,” says Schiff.

Registration for Africa’s Big 7 is currently open. To register for the event, please visit: Africa’s Big 7 website.


[1] https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/03/04/africas-food-markets-could-create-one-trillion-dollar-opportunity-2030
[2] https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/africa-foodservice-market


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