What will be the key categories to watch out for?

The lack of skill in the kitchen due to the lack of chefs now in the industry is seeing frozen have a real boom in growth. At Harvest we are working on enhancing and developing our frozen range to offer our customers a wider choice of consistent and low skill dishes that are either finished or semi finished for the chef to add their own finishing touches to.

Steve Whitwam, Commercial Director at Harvest Fine Foods.

How can wholesalers best prepare for 2022?

Wholesalers should be reviewing their product ranges now and ensuring they are relevant for an industry that is under a huge amount of pressure and who are looking for solutions form their suppliers to ease the burden.

Do you think online shopping will increase over the next year?

Harvest have moved from 10% to 40% of our order capture via online during the pandemic and we continue to see a steady growth as we move forward. Investment in online solutions is vital to stay ahead of your competition and promote your brand image in the market place.

Do consumers still love local shopping?

Technology is entering our lives in more ways than it ever has done before and more and more of our day to day activities are moving online. During the pandemic most eateries invested in online order capture for their customers to order food and drink, which means they can pay online, not wait in queues and support the lack of waiting staff in the industry.

Will wholesalers need to make better use of technology to survive?

The online solution is now the Wholesalers’ shop window and it should be as easy as possible to buy. Technology will become more and more important across the Wholesale Operation as we see innovation from companies such as Amazon that we will all need to keep a close eye on. The customer demand for information and communication means that Technology will have to play a greater part for all of us.

Will consumers stay in more and will there consequently be more products aimed at in-home consumption?

The dine in market has been booming well before Covid with the Just Eat generation. Consumers these days will quite often rather sit at home with friends where baby sitting issues for young families are overcome. This leans to the consumers enjoying a more relaxed and informal dining environment that restauranteurs should recognise and try to tap into. The formal dining experience is slowly disappearing.

Will healthy eating and wellness be even bigger trends in 2022?

Consumers are more and more conscious of their state of mind and socialising will play a key part of this in 2022. Eating trends will reflect healthier or plant based options but consumers continue to look for different interesting flavours and cherish new experiences.

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