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BHETA webinar with FEA demonstrates opportunities for suppliers

In October, BHETA outlined the incremental opportunities for housewares suppliers thinking to expand into the foodservice sector.  Keith Warren, Chief Executive of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA), formerly CESA, was guest speaker at a BHETA webinar and gave BHETA members an overview of the foodservice market in general and specifically in the light of Covid.  He cited high levels of investment and the consequences of ongoing change and dynamism as significant opportunities for diversification.

In a comprehensive analysis of the foodservice market, Keith outlined the current changes in supply chain and a view of future trends, urging housewares suppliers to study the opportunities which exist despite the impact of Covid on the hospitality industry.

Catering utensils and tableware form a significant category within foodservice across both commercial (ie profit making catering) and non-commercial or cost-sector as it used to be termed.  Moreover, despite the pandemic, demand in this category has remained relatively stable.  Despite significant downturns in income for operators during lockdown, underlying trends in favour of eating out, take out food and home delivery remain strong and therefore sector investment remains high.  The key issue, explained Keith, is the rapidity of change as the dynamics of the market alter in line with contemporary trends, something accelerated by the impact of Covid.

Suggesting that suppliers look to allying their products with at least some of the key trends to gain the interest of potential foodservice customers, Keith outlined the key challenges which are currently driving foodservice.  These are:

  • Inflation
  • Technology, especially the linking of front and back of house
  • Food safety
  • Energy conservation
  • Water conservation
  • Labour / productivity
  • Sustainability / climate change
  • Chains stronger than independents
  • Millennial attitude to food – rise of home delivery
  • Changing taste in flavours including reducing consumption and emerging cuisines
  • Changed distribution patterns including ecommerce

Keith also supplied an overview of typical pricing and margins, giving BHETA members all the background they could need to pitch products into this fast-moving market.

The FEA not only targets the UK but can make export introductions into the European and global markets, providing information is respect of BREXIT, alongside the impact of the pandemic.

Commenting on the webinar, BHETA’s Chief Operating Officer, Will Jones said, “This webinar gave a highly current and detailed outline of the opportunity presented by foodservice to kitchenware and tableware suppliers.  Media reporting into the impact of the pandemic on hospitality in general tends not to explore the details of the sector many of which remain incredibly positive for suppliers and especially new suppliers.  It was great that BHETA could bring these facts to the attention of its membership.”

To register for any of the BHETA webinars, or for more information about this webinar or future events, contact Nicola Adams at the BHETA Member Services Team on 07946 078566, or alternatively, email on

Email Nicola Adams

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