Wholesale consultancy TWC has revealed some key factors in the future of wholesale and urged businesses to consider these in their forward planning as part of its TWC Trends Spring 2021 Report.

According to TWC’s Tom Fender, there are three market forces which will drive permanent change across wholesale and the route to market sectors: “The last year has been in the words of Sharon White of the John Lewis Partnership “A real economic earthquake” where we are seeing decades worth of change in the space of 12 months.  Shopping habits have changed irreversibly.

Read more: TWC launches industry trends tracker 

“Here at TWC, we predict that this change in behaviour will continue for years to come. These changes have important implications for our industry and this report highlights some of the opportunities and threats, which wholesalers, retailers and suppliers need to consider as we all adapt to this new normal.

“The three driving market forces which are set to have a major influence are firstly; our increasingly hyper connected world. Secondly, the increasingly polarised economy, and lastly, Millenials and Gen Z becoming workers and earners, activists and spenders.

“We believe that shifts are happening so gradually that they are almost imperceptible but that, over time, they could threaten the very role of Wholesale, its customers and suppliers. Our aim is to call them out so that our industry can build a plan to survive and thrive.

In the report TWC has segmented shifting trends into five themes that wholesalers should consider focusing upon, and gives clear indicators of what the future holds and explores how wholesalers, along with retailers, hospitality and the supply chain can adapt to thrive.

The five themes are:

1. Online Explosion
The Digitalisation and Delivery of Food and Drink and the impact on Convenience and Foodservice

2. Experiential Hospitality & ‘Retailtainment’
Re-thinking the role of bricks and mortar as customers seek personalised, engaging experiences out of home.

3. Do Good Feel Good.
Working for a Better World. Social Impact and wellbeing influences consumer choices.

4. Data & Personalisation.
Data is the new oil – one size does not fit all.

5. Save v Splurge
Balancing value as well as premiumisation to meet divergent customer needs.

Fender concludes: “This report deliberately focusses on the long-term impacts on consumer behaviour. We believe that the immediate after-shocks of Covid-19 have been copiously covered and the industry has a firm grasp of the likely sales patterns for 2021. Meanwhile, there is a paucity of analysis of the seismic shifts that are taking place beneath the surface that will fundamentally and irrevocably change our sector.”

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