A recent survey shows that food and beverage companies plan to focus a lot of energy on data analytics in the next two years. It also reveals some gaps between what food and drink consumers want, and what executives think they want.

For their Seeking Customer Centricity report, KPMG and the Consumer Goods Forum surveyed 400 consumer retailers and manufacturers around the world, as well as 7,100 consumers. They separated out the food and beverage results for Food Navigator, which published the industry findings.

Here are some of the highlights.

Food and drink companies are increasingly looking to data analytics

Use of data analytics in the food and drink industry is on the rise, with 57% of companies planning to use this strategy in the near future.

In the next two years, more than half of food and beverage companies will use data analytics for purposes of:

  • Risk mitigation
  • Forecasting demand
  • Product innovation
  • Developing a more integrated view of the customer

The biggest growth in use of data analytics will be in:

  • Supply chain management
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Product development
  • Procurement

Consumers are more interested in new product development than you think, and less interested in social media

When food and beverage executives were asked about future plans, the only digital activity that beat data analytics was social media. But social media may not be as important to consumers as commonly believed.

  • 37% of executives said they believe customers want their companies to be active on social media.
  • But only 14% of consumers said social media was one of the five most important factors in purchasing decisions.

Another survey result suggests that consumers want to be more active in food and drink product development.

  • 49% of consumers said they’d like to be involved in new product development.
  • But only 35% of food and drink companies thought they did.

Fore more information about big data and what’s next for food, check out the report.