Like many other sectors, the food & beverage industry has shifted a lot over the past two years. Food & beverage retailers have been forced to pivot to suit the needs of their customers while abiding by different mandates. Wholesalers have had to make the necessary adjustments to keep up with the regular changes.
Today, we will cover some new possibilities in the food & beverage industry. We will take a close look at some food & beverage industry insights. Then we will focus on Alibaba.com’s involvement in the global food & beverage trade.
To wrap things up, we will discuss what Alibaba.com’s March Expo is and how sellers can make the most of this annual sales event.
This article is a recap of the information covered in our recent webinar. You can catch a full replay of the webinar on our Facebook page.
Table of Contents
The food & beverage industry is considered the world’s biggest consumer goods market. In 2020, the global food & beverage industry was valued at US $3 trillion. This number is forecasted to soar to US $10 trillion by 2025. This consistent expansion is the result of decades of growth in the industry.
An interesting shift that has sparked this growth is the transition of food and beverage products from a commodity to an experience. This shift is more prominent in developed countries, but it is notable nonetheless.
Currently, Asia, Europe, and the United States are the largest consumers in the food & beverage market.
2020 was a turning point in the way that B2B trade works in the food & beverage industry. The start of the pandemic coincided with significant growth in e-commerce trade in the industry. In the last year alone, the use of e-commerce in B2B food & beverage trade has increased by a whopping 30%.
This growth is just the beginning. The use of e-commerce in the food and beverage industry is expected to double again this year. This creates significant opportunities for wholesalers and manufacturers in the food & beverage space.
Alibaba.com connects buyers and sellers from more than 200 countries around the world. When it comes to food & beverage specifically, Alibaba.com features sellers from 75 different countries.
The top 10 seller countries on Alibaba.com include:
Vietnam leads the seller countries by a landslide. Sellers from Vietnam contribute to 30% of the food & beverage sales on Alibaba.com.
Now that you have a better understanding of the state of the food & beverage industry and all of the business possibilities on Alibaba.com, let’s review a few top food & beverage products that have the highest demand on our platform.
When it comes to the top types of products in the food & beverage industry, beverages take the lead in demand percentage. About 41% of Alibaba.com buyers are searching for beverage products when shopping in this industry.
Beverages are also currently the highest supplied type of product in this industry at about 22%. Even though the supply is high, it still does not meet the current demand.
The top subsegments under the beverage category include alcoholic beverages, coffee, and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are particularly significant because they make up 23% of the demanded items under beverages. Soft drinks contribute a demand of 13%
Confectionary products make up 15% of the demanded food & beverage products on Alibaba.com, but these products only make up a 5% portion of the supply.
Chocolate is the top subsegment in the confectionery category, making up 13% of demanded confectionery products.
Condiments are also among Alibaba.com’s top food and beverage products. This category attracts 11% of the traffic, and the supply is about 15% of products.
Spices and herbs make up the top subsegment in the condiment category. They make up 8% of traffic in this category.
Seafood currently attracts about 8% of demand in the food & beverage industry on Alibaba.com. The supply of seafood makes up about 13% of products on the platform.
Although the food & beverage industry is booming, it has been affected by the pandemic in several ways. The numbers may be up, but buyers and sellers in the global food & beverage industry have experienced struggles of varying degrees.
The root of these struggles lies in shortages that are caused by supply chain issues and transportation bottlenecks. Disconnection and disrupted communication between different countries and continents have contributed to these issues, as well.
Alibaba.com has set out to help mitigate some of these issues through the power and support of technology. We have rolled out special services to support B2B trade in the food & beverage industry.
Our efforts have proven fruitful since the number of active buyers in this industry has increased by 100% in the past year. The product volume has only increased by 5%. The gap between supply and demand represents plenty of business opportunities for suppliers who are capable of fulfilling these needs.
Currently, we believe that the top opportunities in the food & beverage industry on Alibaba.com lie within the 5 different subcategories of products that we mentioned above. These include alcoholic beverages, chocolate, soft drinks, spices and herbs, and coffee, and they are considered high potential segments.
Here is a breakdown of unique opportunities within each of these subcategories.
The market size of alcoholic beverages in 2020 was US $1441 billion. The top 5 buyers of this product on Alibaba.com are the United States, Brazil, Africa, India, and Italy. The top alcohol suppliers are Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and France.
The alcoholic beverages with the most significant discrepancies between supply and demand include whiskey, brandy, beer, liquors, vodka, and rice wine. Each of these products has a significant gap between what buyers want and what suppliers have to offer.
There is a lot of opportunity for manufacturers and wholesalers who are able to fill this gap.
In 2021, the total market size of chocolate was about US $230 billion. The top 5 chocolate buyers on Alibaba.com are Brazil, the Philippines, the United States, Sri Lanka, and France. There has been a considerable surge in chocolate purchases from Brazil, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka over the past year.
Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam are currently the top chocolate suppliers on Alibaba.com. They contribute to over 60% of Alibaba.com’s chocolate supply. German chocolates are particularly popular.
In 2021, the total market size of non-alcoholic beverages was about US $1222 billion, and soft drinks contributed US $823 billion to that figure, which is about 60%.
The top 5 soft drink buyer countries on Alibaba.com include the United States, Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, and France. The number of soft drink buyers from Brazil, Italy, Germany, and France is on the rise.
The top soft drink suppliers on Alibaba.com include Vietnam, Turkey, Germany, and the United Kingdom. These 4 nations contribute about 65% of the soft drink products on Alibaba.com.
The soft drink products with the largest discrepancy between the supply and demand include carbonated drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, and cacao drinks. If you are interested in selling soft drinks on Alibaba.com, these are currently the options with the most potential.
The global market size of spices and culinary herbs recently reached US $41.6 billion, and it is expected to reach US $50 billion by 2025. This growth is being driven by the increasing price per unit.
The largest buyers of spices and herbs are the United States, Germany, France, Russia, and Nigeria. The largest supply countries for this subcategory include India, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa, and Turkey.
Coffee, not coffee drinks, is another important subcategory in the food & beverage industry. This subcategory includes ground coffee, whole bean coffee, instant coffee, and more.
The global market size for coffee is about $410 billion. Instant coffee makes up a quarter of this market, and the other three quarters are made up of roasted coffee products.
The top coffee buyers on Alibaba.com include the United States, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Italy, and Russia. The number of buyers from the Philippines, Italy, and Russia has increased significantly in the past year.
The top coffee suppliers on Alibaba.com include Italy and Vietnam. About 32% of products on Alibaba.com are provided by Vietnam, and 25% are supplied by Italy.
The March Expo is a phenomenal sales event on Alibaba.com that takes place throughout the entire month of March. The March Expo is Alibaba.com’s first major sales event of the year, and it takes place throughout the entire month of March. The goal of this event is to provide new possibilities and business opportunities by forging partnerships between buyers and sellers.
During the March Expo, participants can expect a 2022 product trends release. Over 9,000 verified manufacturers are slated to launch more than 800,000 new products during the event.
In addition to the massive product release, the March Expo includes a variety of live streams that showcase many of the top products. Participants are invited to join real-time factory tours via live stream, as well. The idea is to create a digital tradeshow of sorts to facilitate an immersive sourcing experience.
Many sellers offer shipping discounts, sample savings, weekly deals, and more during the March Expo.
Since a lot of in-person tradeshows for global trade have been canceled because of the pandemic, the March Expo and similar events have become very important for wholesalers to connect with customers. Online tradeshows and sales events provide a safe way to “meet” and make new business connections.
In order to participate in the March Expo as a seller, you must be a Gold Supplier and have a rating of at least one star. If you do not qualify for the March Expo, don’t fret. We host a similar event in the fall called #SuperSeptember.
If you do qualify to participate in the March Expo, you can make the most of this event by offering special deals for your customers. We also encourage suppliers to serve as keynote speakers or presenters in the various live streams to reach a larger audience and attract more leads.
March Expo is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of selling on Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com is a B2B e-commerce platform that offers a variety of tools for food & beverage sellers that are looking to reach a global audience.
These tools include brandable digital storefronts, insightful analytics, Trade Assurance, smart product listings, and communication management. We also offer specific features that support global trade, including automatic currency conversions, auto-translations in the messaging portal, and more.
The analytics portal is a specifically powerful tool because it allows sellers to see what buyers are searching for in real-time. This helps to assess demand and make informed decisions for your wholesale business.
Alibaba.com is a highly trusted platform due to our innovative verification and ranking system that ensures that our suppliers are legitimate. While this verification process is meant to support buyers, it makes Alibaba.com the go-to platform for over 26 million active buyers. This is beneficial to you as a seller since it ensures a consistent stream of leads.
Sign up today to start selling on Alibaba.com and reap the benefits of the March Expo.