Food and Beverage Industry Overview & Categories

When we are hungry and grab food from a vending machine, grocery store, or restaurant, we rarely think about how that food got there. We’re just glad it’s there because we want to satisfy our hunger with something that tastes good. But, the origin of food and how it got into your hands is really the story about how the food and beverage (F&B) industry operates.

What Is It?

Under the vast umbrella term, food and beverage industry, there are many different sectors. That overall industry supply chain includes:

  • Production
  • Food processing/manufacturing
  • Packaging
  • Serving/storage
  • Distribution/delivery
  • Retail sales

It incorporates fresh, prepared, or packaged food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The F&B industry encompasses everything from food and beverages sold at grocery stores to cooked meals served at restaurants, cafeterias, cafes, institutions, fast food, pubs, delis, and events like football games.

Being part of this industry means you’re involved in food manufacturing operations, a catering business, or food transportation services. A job in this industry ranges from packaging to preparing, transporting, and serving food or beverages.

Segments of F&B

There are six main segments in this industry, including:

Beverage The production and distribution of carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks, bottled water, ice, and alcoholic beverages.

Dairy – Manufacturing and distributing dairy-based products.

Fruits and Vegetables – Distributing fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs to food retailers and foodservice providers.

Grain – Companies mill flour and rice, malt grains, and mix prepared flour mixes and dough.

Meat/Poultry/Seafood – Distribution from farms.

Sugar/Confectionary – Refining sugar for industrial and consumer use.

Appetizing Profit Potential

For an entrepreneur in the market, a business in the F&B industry has great profit potential. The food sector is essential in the United States economy and accounts for about 5% of the GDP, 10% of U.S. employment, and 10% of consumers’ disposable personal income.

Already a $435.3 billion combined market in 2021, worldwide revenue is expected to increase from $506.3 billion this year to $856.9 billion by 2025.

There was a large shift in 2020 to online purchasing. This was a 51.6% year-over-year (YoY) increase for food and 39.3% for beverages, that’s thanks to the e-commerce shift — a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are big names in this sector, be it manufacturing, distribution, or retail. Corporations like Coca-Cola, Tyson, and Anheuser-Busch are powerhouses in the production and distribution of products that are direct-to-consumer or direct to other businesses. While these big names still made billions during the economic recovery following pandemic shutdowns, the spotlight was shining on another sector under this umbrella — the quick-service restaurant model — because of the flexibility of its operations during the initial slow-downs at the start of 2020.

Despite the hardships of the pandemic, franchise restaurants performed very well, especially quick-service or fast-food, and fast-casual with more customizable options.

The Hunger for Franchising

Here’s why. Starting a business from scratch can be a labor-intensive, lengthy, and expensive proposition. When you work with a franchise, you fast-track your profit potential because the blueprint is already in place for you. You are not reinventing the wheel. Instead, you’re paying a franchisee fee as your entry into the business. You are given access to a working and proven franchise model. Industry experts dedicated to your success train you, provide a marketing plan, and give ongoing support even after your grand opening. You have a network of fellow franchisees to lean on for support and guidance. While there are no guarantees in business, this is an opportunity to enjoy the best of business ownership with safeguards in place.

Franchising remains a strong model, in fact, based on information from the International Franchise Association, franchising is leading in the country’s recovery from the 2020 pandemic shutdowns. Franchising allows entrepreneurs like yourself to enjoy the dream of business ownership without all the risks associated with a startup. With franchising, you know your financial investment and you are given guidance on key business concepts like management, staffing, and branding. Because of this, there is healthy growth in franchising.

Couple the success of franchising with the growth in foodservice and you have a winning combination worthy of an investment.

Do Your Homework

When you are considering the types of foodservice businesses that will be a good partnership, take a good look and research the trends.

What the food and beverage industry is seeing is a consumer culture insisting on convenience, sustainability, sourcing, and more plant-based. There is a wellness movement in the country, and while there is demand for quick and convenient, consumers also want nutritious, delicious, and customizable.

Additionally, look for a food franchise that has ordering app capability. Millennials and Gen-Z consumers have no problem ordering food from their phones and picking up or having delivered. This is a trend from the pandemic that has staying power.

Keep it Simple With SoBol

If you want all these things rolled into one with an affordable investment price tag and great ROI, SoBol is what you’re looking for. We are an acai bowl and smoothie café delivering healthy, hearty, and tasty food from a completely customizable menu sourced from local farms when available. We are a great example of the growing trends in the fast-casual industry.

We provide the best of both worlds — a comfortable, relaxed dining room where families and friends can get together and enjoy a healthy meal, or order online and take your customized bowl on the go.

As a franchisee, you’ll enjoy that we keep things simple from our menu to our operations. Our goal is to help you enjoy business ownership, and we are dedicated to your success. The food and beverage industry is a huge, sometimes overwhelming, sector. That’s why at SoBol, we uncomplicate it. Our vision is to make people’s day with great food and a smile, and we’re proud of the standards we’ve set.

Want to learn more about us? Fill out and submit this franchise form and we’ll take the next steps.