2020 Food Trends Food Service Distributors Should Watch in Real Time with Prime Software Dashboards

Dave Foreman

Determining the foods that customers are currently eating might seem to be a relatively simple task, but experts generally agree only on overall trends. Predicting future trends is even more difficult due to many factors involved that can change without warning. Prime FoodService Software can help food distributors with this task by providing a real-time view of how food trends are affecting their sales, allowing them to adapt more quickly and reduce spoilage.

Current Trends

Healthy, or wellness, eating is one of the few trends that most experts agree will continue in 2020. Distributors often identify these items with labels such as “better for you,” although they often differ significantly on the criteria they use to make this determination. Fat, sugar, protein and fiber content are factors that distributors commonly consider when deciding if a particular food product qualifies as healthy.

Snacking is another dominant trend in food, especially for Gen Z and Millennials. Younger consumers have largely replaced the traditional concept of three meals per day with frequent snacking throughout the day. Many traditional food companies are responding to this trend by creating or acquiring their own snack food divisions.

The use of plant protein analogues for meat is a trend many distributors believe will continue for the foreseeable future. Burger King’s Impossible Burger is one of the most well-known examples of this trend, which uses specific proteins and other nutrients to simulate the experience of eating real meat. Sales of the Impossible Burger are still low, but customers who buy them have larger average check sizes.

Future Trends

Predicting future trends requires food companies to analyze current patterns to determine if they’re sustainable or just a passing fad. One of the strongest indications of a lasting trend is a pattern that shows up in multiple categories, rather than just one. This process requires a company to continually collect data on its sales. However, this analysis must also be accompanied by a willingness to take risks if a company is to obtain the long-term advantages of being first in a market. Waiting until a trend is completely apparent before acting virtually ensures that a company will be too late to lead the market.

Food Trend Analysis

Modern business systems, like Prime FoodService Software, give food service distributors the ability to track trends across the organization in real-time through role-based, customizable dashboards. 

The top-level dashboard in Prime FoodService Software shows sales and other operational data. Yellow and red line items indicate warnings such as accounts receivable that are more than 14 days past due. This software also highlights customers who have ordered within the last 30 days but not the last 14 days, indicating they may be at risk of using another distributor.

The ability to combine information is another important feature of Prime FoodService Software. For example, reviewing sales side-by-side with gross margins for the same time period allows the user to gain a better understanding of the reasons for a change in margin during that period. This software also allows the user to view sales by customer, item and item category.

With a solution like Prime, you can track industry trends affects on your sales in real-time and making purchasing decisions accordingly so that you can reduce spoilage and maximize margins. 

To learn more, see Prime in action with this on-demand webinar.