Food SA prepares industry for the new world

The annual Food South Australia Summit program was held in Adelaide this week. The event provided food and beverage manufacturers, customers, service providers and policy makers with an update on global trends, local opportunities and actionable insights.

This was the first hybrid event hosted by Food SA, enabling attendees – and speakers – to choose whether to attend in person or via a live stream. Almost 200 people participated in the Summit in one form or another.

Food SA CEO Catherine Sayer says Food SA, the peak body for the industry in the state, were excited to present its first hybrid event, “ensuring access to these expert speakers for our whole industry, regardless of where attendees may be located”.

“In this new COVID-19 world, changing to these models of delivery for industry education and support is essential,” she says.

She adds that Food SA is focused on providing actionable information for food and beverage businesses at all levels.

“The feedback from the day has been excellent, with many attendees commenting all our speakers gave them a huge range of insights and new ideas to explore to grow their markets and sales, and that’s what our annual Summit is all about.”

Trends and predictions

Attendees were educated on what is, was and will be, with experts addressing key trends affecting the industry.

The Demographics Group Director of Research Simon Kuestenmacher explored new businesses, work practices and consumer behaviours.

IRI Worldwide Lead Consultant Sally Elstub explored consumer behaviour trends pre- and post-pandemic, with ecommerce, sustainability and health and wellness the focus.

Food futurist Tony Hunter addressed cutting edge technologies changing the face of the food and beverage industry, revealing ‘personalised wellness’ to be the megatrend that businesses of 2050 will address.

Opportunities and challenges

Treasurer of South Australia Rob Lucas spoke about the state’s economic performance and future, emphasising the state government’s push for population growth and reforms to reduce the cost of doing business.

Addressing key challenges currently facing the industry, Dr Hermione Parsons, Industry Professor and Director of the Centre for Supply Chains and Logistics at Deakin University, discussed the impacts of Covid-19, digital transformation and changing consumer expectations on supply chains and logistics.

Attendees were also presented with case studies on exporting to Asia and investing in automated manufacturing, giving attendees an insight into the opportunities that lie ahead for proactive businesses.

Words from the wise

Ms Sayer presented an ‘on the couch’ chat with Drakes Supermarkets’ Roger and John-Paul Drake. With their trademark charm and transparency, the father and son shared insights on their retail, warehousing and social media success.

Joining the Summit virtually from overseas, VBites owner Heather Mills spoke about the plant-based revolution and her visionary role in developing Europe’s largest plant-based food manufacturer.

The Food South Australia Summit is presented with the support of the Government of South Australia through a partnership that now stretches back 10 years and with the shared goal of achieving industry-wide growth.

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