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3 emerging B2B Segments in 2021

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Data-driven insights have given us a fascinating sneak peak into the future – the fastest growing niche segments evolved in 2021 that have the potential to transform B2B sector.

These rapidly growing segments were sparked by the signals like raising popularity amongst investors, media, scientists and the public as well as increase in capital invested.

What these emerging niche segments have in common is innovation, disruption and novelty being at the core of their DNA. We are talking game-changing solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. 

Ghost Kitchens

Ghost kitchens, also known as cloud kitchens, delivery-only restaurants, virtual kitchens, shadow kitchens, commissary kitchens, dark kitchens, virtual restaurants or restaurant-as-a-service (RaaS for short), are commercial kitchen facilities with the sole focus on food delivery and catering with no dine-in option available. In other words, it’s your DoorDash, CloudKitchens, UberEats, Virtual Kitchen Co and many newcomers that are fighting for the spot at customers’ doorstep. 

According to PitchBook, $55B has been invested through 199 deals in the ghost kitchen segment. Moreover, three out of four operators consider off-premise food “their best growth opportunity”, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2020 industry report.

While some industries took a big hit during Covid-19 pandemic, ghost kitchens have accelerated growth. However, it’s a double-sided sword.  

Wolt’s CEO, Miki Kuusi, has shared some concerns about the post-COVID future of foodtech in the recent interview: “Yes, the crisis has given services like ours a boost. More new customers are trying us out, more existing customers are ordering more often. At the same time, we’re seeing the restaurant industry suffer, such as nationwide lockdowns in many places. And if restaurants are doing poorly, that’s bad for us, too. After all, 100 percent of our sales come from them”.

courier, delivery, scooter

Warehouse Management Tech

According to multiple sources, worldwide retail eCommerce sales grew dramatically in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Statista confirms that the global retail e-commerce sales were projected to reach 3.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020.

The number of e-commerce users across the globe increased by 9.5% year-over-year to exceed 3.4 billion, according to data from Finaria. And the increasing trend is set to continue during 2021.

That, in turn, has created a lot of pressure for warehouse technologies to operate efficiently with a skyrocketed amount of items without compromising overall costs and fast delivery.

Warehouse tech includes a wide range of solutions like machine learning in warehouse labor planning systems, autonomous robots, wearables to improve worker safety and health, solar and other renewable energies, asset tracking sensors and scanners and more.

forklift, merchandise, storage

Sustainable Packaging

More and more interest has been raised around the sustainability of supply chains, especially in packaging.

Many companies have announced their net zero goals and those of who operate in the product market have to be very cautious about the packaging of their products, as it plays a significant role in reaching those goals.

A good rule to follow is the three R’s – reduce, reuse & recycle. Also making sure that the end user is aware of how to dispose of the packaging when its life has come to an end.

Some companies (like Oatly) have even proactively started labelling carbon footprint for their products. However, there are some complications. There is yet to come a standardised measure for companies to follow.

boxes, packing, paperboard

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