Trends are heavily shaping the world of food. New proteins, such as lupins, and plant-based substitutes for meat are increasing in popularity. The climate impacts of food production are actively discussed in traditional as well as social media. Today’s consumers are interested in maintaining and improving their health through dietary choices, but they also want their food to be sustainably produced.
At the same time, the eating experience has grown in significance. Great taste is no longer enough – food has to satisfy all senses. Guests come to Fazer Food Services’ restaurants for visually attractive, fragrant food served in an inspiring environment.
Performance in 2018
Net contract sales were strong especially at the end of the year, and some large new contracts were won. Retention of existing contracts improved. Reported net sales for the full year were slightly below and with comparable currency rates at the previous year’s level. Performance improvement actions were initiated in 2018 and they will continue further into 2019 strengthening the competitiveness of the business. Positive impacts were already seen at the end of 2018, with raw material management succeeding particularly well.
We launched a new research and pilot restaurant, TestEat, in cooperation with IBM and VTT Research Centre of Finland. The restaurant, located on IBM’s premises in Helsinki but open to all, includes modern research technology that collects data in both the kitchen and the lunch room. The goal of the cooperation is to study how and what people eat and how they behave in the lunch restaurant. The research paves the way for the crEATe open innovation ecosystem, which was be launched by the three parties in early 2019.
The first Tastory restaurant in Finland was opened in Espoo. The restaurant specialises in providing delicious and green lunches as well as café and deli products in a welcoming and attractive environment.
We extended our partnerships with two of our largest clients in Sweden - Volvo and SEB. As part of the cooperation, we have introduced our new service brand Fazer Food & Co to renew our offering. Fazer Food & Co was also launched in Denmark and Norway. In Denmark, we launched our new vegetarian street food concept “Green Street” – a culinary journey to the green world cuisine. This concept takes green nudging to the next level.
Together with our client Ersta Diakoni, we developed a ground-breaking meal concept for senior people in Sweden. The purpose of this Meal Watch concept is to help the elderly to receive the right food and nutrition based on their individual profile.
Fazer Culinary Teams from Finland and Sweden participated in the Culinary World Cup with the overall theme “Against food waste”. The Swedish team won the competition, successfully defending its title from the last World Cup, with the Finnish team taking the second place and securing a double victory for Fazer.
We participated in the YouTuber event Tubecon in Helsinki by organising a food court with activities that challenged participants to reflect on their eating habits.
In 2019, we will improve our performance, and our focus will be threefold. In portfolio management, retention remains a key priority.
We will complete and fully leverage our account management programme to reduce churn with a stronger focus on profitability. We will work to optimise revenue in each unit more systematically to drive net sales on a unit level. We will also execute local programmes in raw material management and add personnel planning initiatives to sustain restaurant margins.
We aim to grow in each of our operating countries and across sectors, with the public sector, business parks and universities as focus areas.
We will continue to feel the pulse of the consumers and anticipate their evolving needs. Our More Greens campaigns and approach will be even more relevant in the future as more people embrace a plant-based diet. The trend of on-the-go eating continues, and we are developing our offering to provide food flexibly throughout the day.