Consumers can expect to pay 3 to 5 percent more for a beer at a terrace or a sandwich at the station this year. This forecast comes from the FoodService Institute

Netherlands (FSIN), which conducts a biannual assessment of the country's 500 largest food companies, including major players like Albert Heijn and Thuisbezorgd. According to FSIN, the food service sector is currently in "crisis mode."

Despite a collective turnover increase of over 20 percent, reaching more than 61 billion euros last year, FSIN reports that the industry is grappling with its revenue model. Key issues include shrinking profit margins, staff shortages, and problems with scaling operations.

The significant turnover boost in the previous year was primarily driven by inflation and recovery from the coronavirus crisis, FSIN noted. While supermarkets such as Jumbo and Lidl have seen revenue growth, the actual volume of products sold has declined.

To sustain revenue, companies in the food sector are not solely relying on price hikes. They are also exploring strategies like reducing food waste, increasing operational scale, and accepting lower profit margins, according to the FSIN report.

Despite the industry's challenges, FSIN predicts a sales growth of nearly 15 percent this year. FSIN director Inga Blokker highlights a "stark contrast between the turnover increases and the opinions of entrepreneurs," underscoring the sector's ongoing struggles despite apparent financial growth. Photo by G.Lanting, Wikimedia commons.