Q&A: Africa’s food service market set to grow

International research forecasts a 7.99% compound annual growth rate for the African food service market over the next five years.

The Food and Beverage industry has faced significant challenges since the onset of Covid, especially in terms of delivery and supply chain management – but the crisis has also served as a catalyst for innovation. International research forecasts a 7.99% compound annual growth rate for the African food service market over the next five years. Africa’s Big 7 show, takes place from 19-21 June 2022, at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Evan Schiff, portfolio director of Food, Hospitality and Trade at dmg events, says that the continent’s F&B industry has been quick to respond to changing consumer tastes and behaviour to ensure a robust and agile transformation:

What are some of the trends transforming the food and beverage sector?

Some top trends shaping the F&B industry in 2022 ,and driving this year’s Africa’s Big 7 event, co-located with Africa’s established multi-sectoral trade show SAITEX, and the Halal International Trade Expo, are:

  • Increased focus on sustainability.
  • Products with purpose.
  • From bricks to clicks.
  • Fresh On-the-Floor Features.
Please share some of the fresh insights for Africa’s food value chain

Feeding a population of around 1.3 billion, the World Bank has predicted that Africa’s Food & Beverage (F&B) market will reach over US$1 trillion by 2030. The top trends driving this transformation will be explored at this year’s Africa’s Big 7 retail-ready F&B trade show, which  typically welcomes around 5,000 visitors; and will showcase over 250 of the best local, regional and international partners within the F&B business, with exhibitors hailing from 26 countries across the continent.

What is primarily driving innovation in the sector?

Consumer-centric trends continue to drive F&B innovation, and food professionals at this year’s face-to-face event will benefit from our curated programme, which promises strategic networking opportunities for buyers and brands; as well as expert insight and guidance on how to tap into these trends and unlock future growth opportunities.

How will ‘products with purpose’ feature?

Studies show that consumer demand for sustainability within the F&B industry is gaining momentum. Displaying a marked shift to more sustainable shopping over the last few years, consumers are looking beyond eco-friendly packaging to other focus areas including solving the food waste challenge, health and nutrition, public hygiene and sanitation, as well as environment preservation. Accelerated by the pandemic, the market is also experiencing a growing demand for functional foods that deliver tangible benefits, such as immunity and stress management. Not only do consumers want products with purpose; but also food that offers greater diversity and transparency, which they feel should be aligned with their political, social and ethical values.

Explain the shifting patterns in buying behaviour?

The pandemic has expanded how and where consumers shop, resulting in rising demand for online shopping, meal-kits, and other delivery services. These shifting patterns in buying behaviour see retailers investing in omni-channel digital technologies, as well as influencer marketing and fulfilment strategies to solve their last-mile challenges.

What other insights will be covered at the show?

Other key topics to be covered at the event, include tapping into the township economy; disrupted food channels; and building supply chain resilience through technology. A new, exclusive feature included in this event is the Innovation Workshop, where participants will learn how to take an idea to launch in just 3 months, with insider support from Real Innovatrs.

What would you say to convince brands and retail buyers to attend?

In its 19th year, Africa’s Big 7 is a must-attend event for all F&B professionals, offering a unique opportunity to connect with buyers across the continent, to source new products, develop new partnerships and conclude export and import deals.

*Registration for Africa’s Big 7 is currently open on Africa’s Big 7 website.



Main image credit: Supplied.


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