Summary

Food and beverage industry executives are struggling to win share during a time when the economic playing field is changing dramatically. The American middle class had traditionally powered consumer spending, but unyielding economic pressures have taken a significant bite out of their spending power.

What’s emerged is an hourglass economy that has growing markets for affluent consumers at the top and lower-income consumers at the bottom. And the shrinking middle class represents the small center in this market analogy.

L.E.K. Consulting maps the new set of rules for success in this terrain. The report spotlights winners and losers across the broad food industry, including:

  • Food & beverage manufacturers: How companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev and ConAgra Foods are finding targeted growth opportunities
  • Grocers/retailers: Which check-out lines are shorter because shoppers are going elsewhere for groceries? We scan the market from Dollar General to Whole Foods
  • Restaurants (QSRs) and foodservice companies: What’s the recipe for serving value-conscious and higher-end consumers – and what do Subway and Starbucks have in common?

Our report also serves up strategies for food industry executives to better position themselves for growth in this changing market.

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