Agriculture and Food

At last - helpful advice on the menu for the food and drink sector

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 27 August 2020 8:35

At last - helpful advice on the menu for the food and drink sector

Sound bites telling the food and drink sector how tough it is out there are probably about as palatable as you might think to those at the sharp end currently.

Much more digestible is likely to be a forthcoming webinar featuring two Gloucestershire-based business experts aiming to serve up some pro-active, dispassionate analysis and advice for those wrestling with the covid conundrum currently.

Will Abbot, business advisor at Randall & Payne, is set to grill (for want of a better expression) leading strategist in the food and drink sector, Paul Drabble, on not just what the data says – but how businesses might act on it to grow.

“In terms of insight into the food and drinks market, particularly SMEs, 55 per cent are changing their strategy as a result of covid and lockdown.

“And 90 per cent have increased their priority of digital transformation. These are two big headlines,” said Mr Drabble, speaking direct to Mr Abbott in a pre-event video setting the stage for the hour on insight on September 17.

“What that suggests is nearly 50 per cent of businesses are not changing their strategies and that is quite a risk financially. It is a real wake-up call."

A report by Deloitte - COVID-19: Impact on food & beverage consumer products companies – put it like this: “Food and beverage companies are facing significantly reduced consumption as well as disrupted supply chains. At-home consumption has increased, but out-of-home consumption – which historically generates the highest margin – has come to nearly a standstill. There may be long-term changes in customer behavior and demand.”

Mr Drabble has more than 20 years experience working with some of the leading food and drink companies including Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, Ferrero, McDonalds, Shell, Tesco, British Airways and Exxon Mobile.  

He has also helped more than 100 food and drink SMEs grow their business.

Mr Abbott, a partner at the Shurdington-based firm of accountants, said: “Covid has affected many businesses but perhaps nowhere as significantly as in the food and drink sector.

“The pressure to evolve the business model to adapt to changing buyer behaviour was always there, but the pandemic has moved it from a ‘should do’ to a ‘must do’ if this key part of the economy is going to thrive in the future.”

On the menu for main course will be...

How do I build financial resilience for my business?
How am I adapting my business model to meet changing consumer needs?
How do I focus on the high-growth markets that maximise company financial returns?”

And for dessert...

Increasing free cash-flow to invest in growth
Five new food and drink customer trends and opportunities
How digital transformation will shape the future market
Five new skills you will need to compete
The keys to building a new innovation engine – brand matters more than ever.

To find out more about this event email: or book your tickets visit eventbrite.