According to a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal, food manufacturing companies where the owner is the only employee are growing by leaps and bounds.
The report examined the growth of owner-operated businesses with no employees over the past 2 decades. Even while overall factory jobs have declined, this segment has grown robustly, particularly for food. Since 1997, the number of one-person food manufacturers has more than doubled, from just about 20,000 to over 45,000.
This report comes on the heels of another one showing that Big Food is losing market share. From 2012 to 2015, the top 25 food and beverage companies grew just 1.8%. At the same time, small and medium-sized companies grew 11% to 15%.
Both of these studies highlight the impact of the consumer trends we’ve seen across all sectors of the food industry — a rapidly increasing desire for premium, local foods made without artificial ingredients. Will Big Food be able to satisfy consumer demands, or is the future of food very small?