The Chicago-based consulting firm attributes the rebound to pent-up demand, Covid-19 vaccine rollouts and ongoing strength in many retail sectors
person paying for order with credit card in cafe

Pentallect, a food industry consulting firm based in Chicago, forecasts a 10% sales growth in 2021, arguing the rebound builds on a sharp second-half of the year recovery in foodservice, following anticipated vaccine rollouts and ongoing strength in many retail sectors.

The company said the industry has seen a decline of $125 billion in sales this year, dropping 8% due to the dramatic $220 billion downturn in foodservice, a drop of 27% compared with the previous year.

Bob Goldin, a Pentallect partner, said: “Quick-service restaurants generally held up well, but other foodservice segments, including full-service restaurants, have been devastated by the effects of the pandemic.

“Next year we are guardedly optimistic that foodservice will begin a multi-year rebound as effective public health measures become widespread.”

Pentallect projects that the food industry will continue to experience above-average growth beyond 2021, as the foodservice channel continues to rebound.

The company expects the retail channel to sustain moderate momentum in the post-pandemic economy.

Pentallect food industry sales forecast
Photo credit: Pentallect research

Rob Veidenheimer, Pentallect’s president, added: “While there is clear evidence of pent-up consumer demand for foodservice, many retailers have proven to be highly effective in meeting consumer demands during the pandemic and we expect them to continue to benefit from increased customer loyalty.”

Veidenheimer noted that online, club stores and limited-assortment stores have experienced accelerated growth, which he believes is sustainable.

Pentallect is a strategic consulting and business improvement firm. The team leverages its expertise to conduct in-depth assessments of clients’ business strategies, structures, sales and marketing efforts, supply chains and spending/profitability to provide guidance and actionable insights to direct profit-and-loss impact.

Date published: 14 December 2020

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