Market intelligence driving growth in food and drink businesses

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The application of market insights could drive significant growth for food and drink businesses based in North East Scotland, according to private sector economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE). Various types of market intelligence are available to the industry but businesses are often unsure of how to access or interpret the data to inform their plans and activity.

Later this month a panel of industry experts will share insights and information that will allow North East food and drink businesses to develop market growth opportunities or new products to satisfy new demand and trends. This will include understanding the market size and opportunity for products, knowing the global trends impacting customer demands and future expectations, and how to access more detailed and specific information.

The market insights seminar on 26 July has been organised by ONE and Scotland Food & Drink with Make Innovation Happen, the recently launched industry initiative which aims to accelerate growth across the sector to 2030. Make Innovation Happen provides food and drink businesses in Scotland with a single, streamlined access route to help them innovate. This service, backed with £1.1m of funding from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, includes support for both incremental and disruptive innovation and is open to all businesses across the supply chain from farm to fork.

Industry experts from Scotland Food & Drink, Make Innovation Happen, Kantar and ONE will introduce delegates to the types of market insight information available to food and drink businesses, where to find this information, how to best use it, and explore how it can have a positive impact on business performance.

Seminar attendees will hear how insights really do translate into impact, with Mackie’s of Scotland providing a flavour of how they use market intelligence to drive business performance and achieve their strategic aims. A Q&A session with the expert panel will give delegates the opportunity to dig deeper into how businesses can get the most from market insights.

The seminar runs from 4pm to 6.30pm on 26 July at the Village Hotel, Prime Four, Kingswells, Aberdeen. The event is free to attend but places must be booked in advance via the news section of the opportunitynortheast.com website.

Food, drink, agriculture and fishing are major contributors to the North East economy and directly employ more than 22,000 people. In Scottish terms, the region accounts for 17% of the sector’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and 18% of employment. Excluding the whisky sector, it contributes an estimated 20% of Scotland’s food and drink industry output with approaching 25% of Scotland’s primary agricultural output and 50% of its fish landings.

ONE aims to build on this strong foundation to achieve overall increases in turnover, profitability and high-quality employment in the sector in the medium to long term. The focus areas for its activity are business growth, innovation, supply chain integration, market development and skills. ONE co-funds its work with private and public partners, including Aberdeenshire Council, Scotland Food & Drink and Scottish Enterprise, to maximise growth in the sector.

Peter Cook, Director of Food, Drink & Agriculture at ONE, said: “Understanding and applying market insights can transform the performance of a business. Research shows that when a company innovates it is twice as likely to grow and three times more likely to export successfully. Many food and drink companies in North East Scotland are already making good use of the world-class research and data available to them but there is room to do more. This free seminar in Aberdeen on 26 July will enable businesses to learn more about market insights within the industry and how to make best use of information to realise their growth ambitions.

“The food and drink sector is one of this region’s major strengths and innovation is critical to its continued success, as part of a wider economic renaissance. ONE is committed to driving its development by direct engagement with industry though projects and partnerships that deliver additional resource to catalyse growth,” said Mr Cook.

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