Food and beverage trends and issues

Key insights for food manufacturing, distribution and agriculture companies

RSM understands the challenges and opportunities facing all segments of the food and beverage (F&B) industry—from production to distribution of proteins, dairy products, produce, snack foods and more. Industry issues like changing consumer preferences, innovation and food safety issues are placing tremendous pressure on industry executives. In response, F&B companies are reshaping their operations to respond to customer needs while enhancing their efficiency.

RSM’s professionals advise more than 1,200 food and beverage companies and help them to adapt, grow and thrive by providing key insights into the industry issues affecting their business. 


  • Changing demographics: New consumers like Generation Z are powering growth based on their taste and lifestyle preferences. They like products that are ethnic, healthy, locally sourced and environmentally packaged. To add such products to their portfolios, major food and beverage players have moved away from the financial commitment required for in-house research and development programs, to acquiring startup and entrepreneurial companies with promising brands, often with health or sustainability appeal.
  • Digital transformation: The digital fluency of millennial shoppers who expect omnichannel options—buying in stores, online and via smartphone—points to the critical need for a secure and customizable digital infrastructure. F&B companies are using digital and social media platforms to connect with customers on their terms, with offers geared to the customers’ unique profiles. F&B companies have to integrate these new systems smoothly with their supply-chain partners.
  • Food safety: Unfortunately, food safety concerns continue to grow. Both global and local product sourcing add risk to supply chains through unsafe handling, transportation and food-borne illnesses. Recalls and outbreaks of illnesses create high levels of reputational and financial risk. F&B companies are addressing these issues through heightened attention to their supply chains and employee training.