In order to strengthen their customer relationships, SME food and drink manufacturers are shifting towards a servitised approach. Food manufacturers, distilleries, breweries and wineries have all seen this move, as it encourages brand loyalty, while enabling access to new revenue streams and stronger customer relationships.
Companies that have experienced the move towards a service-based business model include Fourpure Brewing Co in Bermondsey, which opens its taproom to the public, Forman’s Fishery in Stratford, which has a viewing gallery on the factory floor, a restaurant and an events space based onsite, and Blackbook, a Battersea-based urban winerey that offers wine tours and tastings to the public.
The founder of Blackbook, Sergio Verrillo, believes that for a business like his adding an avenue of tourism is a natural progressive step. “We want to see it [the business] expanding by adding tourism to it. We do bi-weekly tours right now – on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We want to make this a real destination for drinks and food. Our customers get to know what we offer and who we are.”
Providing London with high-quality craft beer, South London-based brewery Fourpure has doubled both its workforce and revenue every year.
“We want to further invest in the hospitality side of the business, we are currently sat in the taproom which is open from noon every day, and it is reasonably busy in the week. The weekend is insane, the whole place is absolutely full. We have food vendors just outside too, it is like a mini festival every weekend. We want to make that bigger and better,” said Dan Lowe, CEO at Fourpure.
More and more consumers are becoming concerned about the issues regarding the origin of products; therefore offering these types of services help consumers understand the journey of a product and see where it has been made.
As a highly competitive industry, food and drink businesses must differentiate themselves. Offering services that enable the consumer to have an increased awareness of a brand fuels better relationships, which ultimately results into more revenue streams to be exploited.