Business Coronavirus and Brexit challenge the food sector
Mission Ventures, which has been trading since 2015 as Grocery Accelerator, offers expert business advice, expertise and financial investment to help innovative food and drink start-ups succeed in retail.
According to Willis, the full impact of either is yet to be determined to the food industry, especially for the smaller brands, but inevitably it is the uncertainty that creates issues, be that around investor confidence or supply chain challenges. “Every company needs to have a contingency plan, but for most SMEs that is often a cast of 'getting on with it' and riding the bumps in the road. Resilience is a core attribute that each entrepreneur needs in spades," he said.
Nevertheless, Willis believes that the current market also presents challenger brands with new opportunities to make their mark and take share from larger brands. Digital developments have been a game-changer for smaller brands, he reflected.
“The growth in online shopping is a helpful driver for small brands. There's a great opportunity to build a stronger relationship with consumers who want to understand the value of a brand and buy into the provenance and relationship that a company is able to offer them in a way that big brands struggle to achieve. Testing ideas for NPD is always best achieved, and most cost-effectively, with online fans," he added.