New research examines food markets outside retail 16 Dec 2016

A new research report analyses the foodservice sector in Australia in terms of its structure, influential trends and the relative size of various channels to consumers. These channels include takeaway, dining out, event/leisure and institutional food channels.

The study, funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and conducted by researcher Steve Spencer of Freshagenda Pty Ltd, aims to improve our understanding of food markets outside retail, and identify future opportunities and challenges for Australian primary producers seeking to supply these channels.

"The foodservice market is wide, diverse and profoundly different to food grocery and specialty

retail markets, and is shaped over time by a complex set of trends and influences," said Steve Spencer, principal author of the report.

"There is no recipe for success for producers and suppliers attempting to enter and/or grow their

business in these market channels. As with grocery channels, there is intense price competition within these market segments, but perhaps greater scope for suppliers to differentiate in offering solutions to their customers, especially where they save time and preparation cost. However, producers should carefully evaluate the growth areas in the various channels, major risks to suppliers and the innovations that are being sought.

"There is a strong emphasis placed on compliance and food safety in the foodservice sector, and the development of brands espousing regional identities and credentials may play a role in market development. This could also pave the way for know-how, products and solutions developed in Australia to be exported to South East Asian foodservice markets.

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Managing Director, John Harvey said, "the report is an important resource in building our understanding of the foodservice sector and will help Australian primary producers better understand what buyers in major foodservice channels will typically seek from new suppliers."

This study compliments a report released earlier this year by RIRDC that examined how prices are determined in farm to retail value chains for Australian agricultural food products.

The full report titled ‘Understanding Food Markets Outside Retail’ is presented in four parts and can be downloaded for free at,, and