Global food and drinks giantshave been slow to wake up to the challenge posed by the craft food and revolution, but the message has seeped through to SABMiller (LSE: SAB).
SABMiller has grown into the worlds second-biggest brewer by investing in mass market brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Miller Genuine Draft, but now it faces some tastycompetition.
Now it has just splashed out on Londons Meantime Brewing Company, in a belated bid to hop on board the craft beer bandwagon.
Craft beer is by far the fastest-growing part of the beer market, with Meantime boosting production by 58% last year.
By comparison, the overall UK beer market grew by just 1%.
Slow Food, Fast Growth
Craft beer is trendy right now, it goes down nicely with a hipster beard, but it is also part of a wider movetowards locally sourced food with natural ingredients made by companies people can identify with and trust.
I have written before that this poses a challenge for global megaliths such as Unilever, which has a large portfolio of processed food, and it is alsoa threat toDiageo (LSE: DGE) and Compass Group (LSE: CPG).
To be fair, it is a threat that both recognise and are working hardto counter.
Diageo chief Ivan Menezes has been pursuing a premium brands strategy for several years, recognising that consumers increasingly thirst for quality, luxury andultra-premium vodkas.
Its strategy has been knocked off course by the emerging market slowdown and Chinese anti-corruption drive, which called time on the practice of giving premium spirits as gifts to public officials.
But focusing on aspirational brands has arguably helped Diageo maintain strong sales in its key US market.
Finding Its Way
Your average foodie will turn their nose up at contract catering, but Compass Grouphas made a public commitment to producing healthy, delicious and sustainable food.
It wonpositive publicity for its Imperfectly Delicious campaign, which aims to encourage people to eat crooked carrots and cauliflowers, which all too often end up on the compost heap.
Compass also knows it cant serve second-rate grub to one of its main markets, oil services and mining workers in remote locations, who dont want to add boring food to their list of privations.
Unfortunately, falling oil and commodity prices have hit demand, as companies lay off workers, but Compass still put in a solid recent performance, and its share price is13% in the last year.
SABMiller, Diageo and Compass Group arefollowing the foodie revolution rather than leading it, and there is a risk they could get left behind.Youcant buy authenticity.
You may prefer to invest in companies that are driving trends rather than reacting to them.
If so, you may be tempted by a company that Motley Fool analysts have singled out asone stock poised for global domination.
This company looks ready to explode, with its sales on course to triple in the next five years.
Full details of this exciting buying opportunity are available in a brand-new report 3 Hidden Factors Behind This Daring E-commerce Play.
To find out more for free,click here now.
Harvey Jones has no position in any shares mentioned. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.