Consumers will go from less than one in ten to more than one in five. Millennials and Gen Z will be big buyers. The five key markets are China, Japan, USA, UK and South Korea.
Like a tidal wave, the pandemic has spread across the world, peaking at different times in the various regions, first Asia, then Europe and finally the Americas. The Far East is almost back to normal, Europe is recovering – with some signs suggesting that economic recovery may come sooner than expected, even in Italy – while the Americas have reached the plateau phase and are starting to look towards a downturn.
In such a diversified framework, how is the global economy behaving? In such a particular year, research centres and analysts have been forced to review their forecasts time and time again. OCSE, the organisation that categorises advanced economies, estimates that during the second four-month period, the GDP of member countries dropped by an average of 9.8%. Italy is performing slightly worse than average, with ISTAT confirming a drop of 12.8%, but for once it is not at the bottom of the list. Worse off are France, at -13.8%, and particularly the UK, where figures have fallen by more than 20%. The USA fares a little better, at -9.5%, while Japan records a -7.8%. The Eurozone average is -12.1%, while for the EU as a whole it is -11.7%. Overall, the drop equates to 10.9% across OECD countries.
F&B fares better than the economy as a whole
In recent months, it has often been said that Food & Beverage is performing better than the economic average, but is this really the case? And how will the year conclude? Let’s look at the data. According to the average forecasts of various analysts as calculated by specialist website Statista, and updated as of August 2020 to take the impact of COVID-19 into account, on a global level the sector should close 2020 with a turnover in excess of 236.5 billion dollars, significantly higher than the 155.5 billion of 2019, a 52.1% increase in fact.
Following on from this peak, the growth will continue in coming years, with the sector set for a 15.4% rise next year, reaching 272.9 billion, followed by 12.4% growth in 2022 (for an overall figure of 306.7 billion) and an 8.8% increase in 2023 (equating to 333.8 billion). Looking ahead to 2024, the global F&B market value will be more than double what it is today, a further increase of 6.3% contributing to what is set to be a record figure of 354.76 billion dollars. This year, the five main Food & Beverage markets will be, in order, China with 152.44 billion dollars, followed by Japan that records 19.11 billion, the USA with 15.40 billion, the UK with 8.5 and finally South Korea that will approach 7.74 billion dollars.
This growth is the result of various factors. Firstly, the consumer base is widening. There are roughly 650 million consumers today (equating to less than one in ten of the Earth’s inhabitants, or 8.5%), but this figure will rise to more than 1.76 billion in 2024, with a penetration rate of 22.8%, or more than one in five. Essentially, for every family unit anywhere in the world there will be at least one person who shops. But there is also an increase in average spending, which has gone from 177.50 dollars per person per year in 2019 to 227 dollars this year. With some adjustments, this figure is set to remain above 200 dollars per head until 2024. It is interesting to note than on-line sales will continue to have strong potential for growth, lying at just 2% today and expected to be still at only 3% in 2023. Finally a look at consumers, with more than a third (34%) aged between 25 and 34, 25% between 35 and 44, and 20% between 18 and 24.