Jamie Hutcheon: Lockdown classes supply a larder filled with meals alternatives
Enterprise homeowners needed to adapt to disrupted provide chains, ongoing restrictions and relentless uncertainty for greater than two years.
Many rose to the problem and we noticed this primary hand at Enterprise Gateway, the place companies invested in digital choices together with web site upgrades, e-commerce platforms and social media.
The Covid-19 pandemic compelled our meals producers, as with many different industries, to function underneath vital stress.
Deliveries and takeaway choices turned a lifeline for many foods and drinks ventures.
Entrepreneurs developed modern methods to supply prospects with a service that was desperately missed throughout repeated closures.
Whereas all authorized restrictions have now been lifted, firm homeowners should flip their consideration towards challenges similar to rising vitality prices, and hiring and retaining good employees.
Classes discovered from the previous two years will improve the resilience of companies and assist enterprise homeowners navigate this era, however there are nonetheless challenges for the sector.
Regardless of these difficulties, we’re lucky to have a robust meals sector right here within the north-east, and there are various optimistic tales we’re seeing throughout the community of advisers in Enterprise Gateway Aberdeen Metropolis and the Shire which ought to be celebrated.
Enterprise Gateway’s engagement with the foods and drinks business has steadily elevated for the reason that pandemic, with 261 inquiries acquired from April 2021 to March 2022 – in comparison with round 160 the yr earlier than.
As well as, numbers of start-up enterprises throughout the sector have additionally improved over the previous 4 years.
These beforehand averaged between 80-100 companies per yr and this has now elevated to 148 a yr.
New companies are additionally bringing thrilling improvements – for instance, avenue meals is on the rise in response to altering shopper tendencies.
This may be discovered round Aberdeen, with pop-ups held on the seashore and Shiprow Village, and likewise on Belmont Avenue.
With decrease working prices and fewer employees requires, avenue meals venues not solely present newer companies with an answer to rising prices, but additionally give groups a crucial alternative to check out new merchandise, attain prospects and, most significantly, flip a revenue.
Different thrilling tendencies prone to materialise over the approaching months embody a rise within the variety of “darkish kitchens”.