As we move forward into the year and beyond, changes outside of the food and beverage sector’s control continue to shape how we do business. In the wake of the pandemic’s anniversary, B2B commerce has seen a seismic shift in customer preferences – a shift that seems irreversible. It has now become imperative for companies within this industry to stay in stride with emerging trends and tackle prevalent challenges if they want to sustain customer retention, grow loyalty, boost sales, and reach their growth objectives.
As B2B food and beverage companies embrace cutting-edge technology, explore alternative energy resources, and implement strategic sales software, they are more able to create a robust foundation for future-proofing their operations, and thereby guarantee food security within South Africa.
In this article, we delve into the current challenges, prevailing trends, and potential growth strategies within the South African food and beverage sector. It’s noteworthy that Skynamo, the pioneering sales rep app in this industry, plays an integral role in this discussion.
Key obstacles confronting South Africa’s food and beverage sector
The food and beverage industry in South Africa has multiple hurdles that directly influence service delivery and productivity quality. Here are some of the primary issues.
- Energy supply disruptions: Load shedding is the nation’s blight. It has led to substantial losses in the food and beverage sector due to cooling failures and production interruptions for farmers, wholesalers, and distributors, with little indication of abating in sight.
- Evolving consumer expectations: The consumer quest for high-grade food continues to exert pressure on business owners and stakeholders to meet this demand and enhance their operational efficiency.
- Escalating costs: Inflation-driven increases in food prices, operating expenses, and labour costs coupled with surging fuel prices and unfavourable exchange rates present a significant challenge.
- Skill shortage: The industry grapples with attracting and retaining proficient employees due to subdued wage growth and limited professional advancement opportunities.
Despite these difficulties, the food and beverage sector continues to be a key contributor to the country’s economic expansion. Manufacturers can take steps to future-proof food production and ensure food security in South Africa by embracing technological innovation, alternative energy supplies, and the appropriate adoption of B2B sales software.
Prevailing industry trends
For food and beverage companies to stay relevant and ahead of demand, it is important to understand what trends the sector is witnessing.
- Demand for increased data clarity and operational efficiency: With ongoing supply chain complications, the need for increased efficiency within food and beverage businesses is paramount. Companies must strike a balance between inventory management and pricing strategy. To do this, they need data clarity and information accuracy. This is where sales analytics technology shines, and serves to optimise cost savings and profitability.
- Smooth ordering experience: Whether it’s B2B or B2C, consumers today demand a seamless, user-friendly, and hassle-free ordering process. Errors in orders and prolonged service inquiries can affect your food and beverage sales revenues. With about 85% of transactions occurring without human interaction, personalised and efficient ordering systems have become paramount.
- Sustainability in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG): The past couple of years have seen the industry adopting technology rapidly. Today’s consumers prioritise sustainable options in their packaged goods, including environmental-friendly packaging and wellness-focused product lines.
Looking ahead: sales and business technology to stay competitive
Digitisation is no longer a frightening word. The food and beverage sector has embraced technology to meet consumer demand. Big data and analytics give the industry deeper insights into shopping trends. Data insights allow decision-makers to pre-empt consumer needs and supplier trends before they arise.
To streamline operations, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are brought in to unify a business into one system. Tremendous benefit is gained when ERP systems are integrated with sales technology.
Sales apps specific to the food and beverage sector, like Skynamo, are vital for achieving an ideal customer experience. With online sales expected to constitute 15-20% of total food and beverage sales by 2025, B2B eCommerce is projected to be a $20.9 trillion business by 2027.
In this landscape, Skynamo – the industry-leading B2B sales CRM ordering app – stands out from the rest. With features such as live ordering, instant reporting, and reduced administrative tasks, Skynamo has a dedicated team of integration specialists that ensure prices are current, stock levels are in real-time, and reports are seamless.
With Skynamo, clients see an average annual growth increase of 25% and a 20% boost in first-year sales revenue.
Skynamo’s effectiveness is also reflected in its clients’ 97% on-time delivery success rates, with clients reporting 80% fewer unnecessary conversations due to Skynamo technologies.
To provide a more personalised experience for you, your employees, and your customers, Skynamo offers auto-generated call reports capturing customer interactions, orders, and sales rep notes.
See how Skynamo can help future-proof your business
Understand your customers, your sales data, your sales teams, and what you should do next, with Skynamo. Schedule a demo and we’ll call you back.