Right now is a particularly exciting time to be recruiting in the food manufacturing and grocery retail industry. The groundbreaking innovations we’re seeing in our sector portend this could be a most consequential time not just for our industry, but for the planet and our future.
It may have all begun in the research and development of plant based foods.
The Rise Of Plant Based Foods Sparks Innovation
There has always been a viable market for plant based foods. But a variety of recent changes and product developments has caused a boom in demand. One of the main factors causing this demand is a spike in innovations and developments such as:
- Chicken meat grown in labs
- Whole muscle, cell-cultured seafood products
- 50/50 meat-vegetable hybrids
- Mimicking the mouthfeel of real meat and dairy
- Isolating proteins to create more realistic cheeses
This is a notable evolution in an industry where R&D has historically been a tough sell. In part because of the uncertain ROI and potentially costly and time-consuming nature of R&D.
But now, food manufacturers are investing heavily in research and development in this sector to stay ahead of the curve for innovations in:
- Sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients
- Health & Nutrition
- Waste reduction (water, carbon footprint)
- Packing & Shipping
This trend is made possible as big companies are getting on board with the profitability and viability of R&D for the plant based industry.
To put this into perspective, it is not uncommon that leading investors would lend hundreds of millions of dollars to help promising manufacturers expand production capacity, add more innovative products to their portfolio, and lay the foundation for global expansion. It’s a bet that, given the momentum of the industry, is likely to pay off handsome dividends.
Growth & Innovation influences All Sectors of Food & Beverage Manufacturing
The statistics alone indicate the effect R&D is making on growth in the plant based industry:
- Double and sometimes triple-digit growth in emerging plant based sub categories (snacks, dips, sauces, cheese, spreads, and creamers)
- Average annual growth in plant-based food & beverage launches increased 36% over last year
- Projected annual growth of plant based foods 10–20% through 2024
- Food products designed to aid immunity and health grew 12% in 2020
- Consumer behavior saw 36% increase in flexitarian diet choices
- Plant-based seafood industry projected to increase 13 times to $1.3 billion in the coming decade
But the benefits of R&D from top plant-based food manufacturers is not contained to just the plant based industry. Both 2019 and 2020 were banner years for innovations in the food manufacturing industry as a whole.
The livestock, dairy and meat industry are experiencing a need/push to evolve and diversify toward increased efficiencies and sustainability. As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” And seldom has this been more true in the growth and innovation of the food and beverage industry.
Thanks to the demand for plant based foods, we’re seeing a spike in demand across all sectors – all part of a growing movement dedicated to finding new ways to make our food supply more plentiful, fresh, and sustainable.
Why is R&D So Important For All Food Manufacturers?
Supply chains continue to be tested. The appetites of consumers are changing frequently. Environmental factors are shifting unexpectedly.
When we juxtapose the uncertainties of the food and beverage industry to historical demands, it is no surprise the suppliers of all foods are in a rush to find new, creative ways to produce foods that are:
- More profitable
- Drought resistant
- More pest resilient
- Able to travel better
- Grown closer to market
The government agrees. These are all reasons why companies who invest heavily in R&D could benefit from a variety of tax credits. But more importantly, the decision makers and people driving change towards increased R&D could save countless generations from poverty and famine.
Research & Development For All Food & Beverage Companies
At Curtis Food Recruiters, we are finding R&D is playing a bigger role in our retained client’s needs. They’re counting on us to source and recruit the best top C-Suite Executives and Senior Level talent who can lead the R&D revolution and meet the demands of the market and its suppliers.
We are always looking for ways we can help. The fact that our talent may be a part of such a historic moment makes recruiting for the food & beverage industry our passion.
If you need the top C-Suite Executives and Senior Level talent who can contribute to your R&D goals, and nurture an environment of innovation within your organization contact Curtis Food Recruiters today.