One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well… goes a quote of Virginai Woolf in A Room of One’s Own. In India, we have the concept of atithi devo bhava, where we serve food to our guests, who are no less gods. It’s a ritual carried forward from our forefathers and defines our culture in short. In the West too, food has been given its due. Like George Bernard Shaw said in Man and Superman, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

Today, there are innumerable varieties of food available to people. You name it and you can have it. Like spiritual guru Juggi Vasudev says, it’s probably the first time in the history of mankind that lots of food is available to all with little effort.

Of late, there is a fad of diets. Of course, it is not new in the sense of the term. But veganism, plant-based meats, fancy diets have taken over the market. Given this scenario, Business Strategist Hirav Shah describes how best the food industry functions.

Business Strategist Hirav Shah also has clients from one of the highest and fastest growing restaurants chain to one of the very prominent spices, sauces manufacturers and also he is closely working with largely grocery stores and Online supermarkets. People also call Hirav a Big time trouble shooter for the food industry and other businesses too.

This year, of course, has been a bad year, especially for the hospitality business, but restaurants, big and small, are coming up with innovative ways to attract customers. Be it dine-in or delivery restaurants in the new normal, or redesigning interiors for a safe dining experience to include healthy, diet-appropriate food, the food industry has adjusted to the new scenario.

So, let’s have a sneak peek and some popular FAQs into the workings of the food industry, with Astro Strategist™ Hirav Shah’s years of experience in guiding and directing hi-profile business owners and top business players in the Food industry and Restaurant sector.

Are there organisations or offices that provide support and expertise on food supply?

Of course there are. Like all industries, the food industry has been around for a while and you can lay your hands on lots of expert advice and support on various areas of the food industry. They provide you with the most comprehensive and efficient methods for your purchasing needs and nutrition management. Such firms and organisations recognize that every human service provider has distinct needs and different resources. With increasing demands on every human service dollar you raise, is it possible to advance your organization’s mission and at the same time provide your constituents with their day-to-day needs?

In today’s environment successful organizations will have to manage their bottom line effectively. Which means it is essential in keeping overhead costs down and embracing new ideas, new technologies and management philosophies. Through such expert firms, you save money and time by allowing their staff to provide you with all best practice methods for your purchasing needs. In addition, you will also receive free menu reporting, nutrition analysis, cost report (which helps with budget), as well as menu assistance.

What does food safety mean?

It is about ensuring that food is appropriate for human consumption. It is also about taking measures to make it safe for consumption.

What does food hygiene mean?

It is all conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and sustainability of food at all stages of the food chain.

What is quality control?

Quality control is a planned system of activities to provide a quality product. It is often referred to as quality inspection and consists of carrying out checks at various points in the manufacturing system. For example, inspection is carried out on weight, acidity, colour. Inspection can segregate good from bad food.

What is quality assurance?

It may be defined as a planned system of activities whose purpose is to provide assurance that the quality control programme is actually effective.

Please distinguish between QA and QC?

QA looks at the whole process – from purchase of materials, to the manufacturing process, to the point at which the consumer eats or uses the food.

What is total quality management (TQM)?

It is a set of proactive methods, all of which continuously contribute to improving a food processing enterprise and the safety of its products.

What is a hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)?

HACCP is a systems management approach to food safety management. It is a system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards that are significant for food safety.

What are organic sales?

Organic sales are revenues generated from the firm’s existing operations as opposed to acquired operations.

What is ancillary revenue?

Ancillary revenue is the revenue generated from goods or services that differ from or enhance the main services or product lines of a company.

What is consumer staples definition?

Consumer staples are an industry sector encompassing products most people need to live, regardless of the state of the economy or their financial situation.

Having discussed some common FAQs in food business, let’s focus on specifics:

What are the top 5 food safety rules?

The core messages of the Five Keys to safer food are:

  1. Keep it clean
  2. Separate raw and cooked foods
  3. Cook thoroughly
  4. Keep food at safe temperatures
  5. Use safe water and raw materials

What are the ideal stocks to invest in, when it comes to the food industry?

Primarily the food industry comprises companies that are primarily focused on offering food and nonalcoholic beverages. It includes grocery stores, food distribution companies and other firms offering consumer staples that consumers either eat or drink.

Food stocks are best represented by the S&P Food & Beverage Select Industry Index, even though this index includes companies offering alcoholic beverages. The index has underperformed the broader market over the past 12 months, providing a total return of 8.3% compared to the Russell 1000’s total return of 13.3%, as of September 18, 2020. All statistics in the tables below are as of September 21.

Here are the top 3 food stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and having the most momentum.

  • BellRing Brands Inc.: BellRing Brands makes nutritional food products such as protein shakes, powders, and nutrition bars. BellRing Brands reported a sharp decline in net earnings as net sales slumped 14.1% in Q3 of its 2020 fiscal year (FY), the three-month period ended June 30, 2020. The company said that sales were negatively impacted by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ingles Markets Inc.: Ingles Markets is a regional supermarket chain. It offers products in each of the following categories: grocery, non-foods, perishables, and other.
  • Albertsons Companies Inc.: Albertsons Companies is a grocery store company that operates food and drug retail stores. It offers grocery products, general merchandise, health and beauty care products, pharmacy, fuel, and other items and services. The company reported net income growth of 1,096.3% on revenue growth of 21.4% in Q1 FY 2020, which ended June 20, 2020. Net income was positively affected by cost of sales and other expenses that, proportional to total sales, were relatively lower than the year-ago quarter. The company said that digital sales grew 276%, largely driven by the pandemic.

Fastest Growing Food Stocks

These are the food stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

  • Albertsons Companies Inc.: See above for company description.
  • The North West Co. Inc.: North West is a Canada-based multinational grocery and retail company. The company offers food, family apparel, housewares, appliances, outdoor products, and offers services such as quick-service prepared food.
  • The Kroger Co.: Kroger operates supermarkets, drug stores, multi-department stores, jewellery stores, and convenience stores. The company also engages in the manufacture and processing of some of the food it sells in its supermarkets. Kroger reported net earnings growth of 185.7% on sales growth of 8.2% in Q2 2020, which ended August 15, 2020. Net income was boosted by a mark-to-market gain on investments of $368 million compared to a mark-to-market loss of $45 million in the same quarter a year ago.
    Food Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the food stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

  • elsius Holdings Inc.: Celsius is a leading company that develops, sells, and distributes calorie-burning beverages. It offers a variety of different beverage flavors and markets its beverages through multiple channels, including grocery, drug, convenience, and nutrition stores, as well as gyms. The company reported net income of $1.6 million in Q2 2020, which ended June 30, 2020. It was a significant improvement from the $1.5 million net loss reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 86.3% to a record $30.0 million.
  • SunOpta Inc.: SunOpta owns and operates businesses in the natural and organic food markets. The company offers organic grains and seeds, raw material ingredients, plant-based beverages, broths, teas, nutritional beverages, frozen fruit, and more. SunOpta reported net earnings of $777,000 in Q2 2020, which ended June 27, 2020. It reported a net loss of $8.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew 6.1%. The company said that it succeeded in boosting growth by 10% on an adjusted basis despite the negative impact in its foodservice channel due to COVID-19.
  • Utz Brands Inc.: Utz Brands manufactures and distributes branded snack food products. It offers a range of salty snacks, including potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins, tortilla chips, and more.
What is the total worth of the food industry in 2020 and in the coming couple of years?

Revenue from the food market is projected at US $7,488,160m in 2020. The market is expected to grow by 3.6% annually. This I say is a wonderful figure to boost the morale of those in the food business. The market’s largest segment would be confectionery and snacks. If you are going to make an entry, you know where to start.
Just in China, the market will reach US $1,251, 748 million in 2020.
Per person revenues of US $ 1,002.53 will be generated in 2020 and the average per capita consumption will be at 317.17 kg in this year.
As for India, the food processing market was worth INR 24,665 Billion in 2018. Going forward, the market is projected to reach INR 50,571 Billion by 2024, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.4% during 2019-2024.