Oct 20 2023

Leveraging Big Data to Forecast Missed Sales Opportunities in Food and Beverage Brands—A Route to Profitability and Sustainability

Written by Orderly Marketing

We’re all aware that the food and beverage sector is notoriously volatile. Seasonal fluctuations, varying consumer trends, and unpredictable external events can throw even the most accurate sales forecasts into disarray. However, with advances in technology, particularly in big data and analytics, the narrative is shifting. Brands are now increasingly capable of forecasting not only sales but also missed opportunities, thereby maximising profits. This shift is vital not only for business growth but for sustainability efforts too. At Orderly, we’ve seen how this plays out in real time, offering a comprehensive suite that includes inventory, ordering, and forecasting for a profitable F&B operation.

The Challenge of Sales Forecasting in F&B

Sales forecasting in F&B has traditionally been somewhat of a guessing game. Brands often rely on historical sales data or instinctual judgments, ignoring variables like seasonality, market trends, or local events. This outdated approach inevitably leads to either stockouts or overstocking—both of which have financial and environmental repercussions.

Enter Big Data

Big data transcends traditional forecasting models by incorporating a multitude of variables. It goes beyond looking at previous sales patterns to integrate real-time data streams from social media, weather forecasts, and even traffic patterns, thereby offering a granular view of potential sales.

Profitable Decision-making

Integrating big data analytics helps to identify not just when you’ll make sales, but when you won’t—and why. By understanding the factors affecting low performance, you can tailor strategies that are focused and effective. This allows you to optimise inventory levels, reducing carrying costs and increasing capital efficiency. With Orderly’s suite, you get a well-rounded solution, enabling accurate ordering, stock management, and even automated forecasting.

Sustainability Angle

When we speak of profitability, it’s not just the monetary aspect that counts. The environmental costs of overproduction or waste can no longer be ignored. Efficient forecasting models reduce waste by aligning inventory with real demand. By reducing overstock and food waste, you’re contributing to a more sustainable operation, a value increasingly appreciated by today’s conscious consumers.

Example: A 400-Unit Bakery Chain

Imagine a bakery chain with 400 units spread across different cities. Traditionally, each unit would stock up based on last year’s sales data and make adjustments based on gut feeling or local observations. This approach often leads to overstocking of certain items and running out of others, resulting in lost sales and wasted food.

With the implementation of big data, each unit in the chain can tap into a wealth of real-time information. This data can include local weather forecasts (no one wants hot soup on a scorching day), trending food items in the area (perhaps a new vegan movement is taking off), and even local events or holidays (street festivals can spike demand dramatically).

By feeding this data into an advanced forecasting model, each bakery can fine-tune their inventory. For example, if the data indicates a cold front is moving in, the bakery can ramp up production of hot drinks and comfort foods. If a local festival is happening, they can stock up on popular grab-and-go items. This level of granularity in forecasting significantly reduces the chances of missed sales opportunities and decreases food waste.

Through this optimised approach, not only does the bakery maximise its sales, but it also reduces its environmental footprint—a win-win for both profitability and sustainability.

Return on Investment

Implementing big data isn’t without its costs; it requires investment in technology, expertise, and ongoing management. But the ROI isn’t just in increased sales and reduced costs. Companies also see gains in customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as in their brand’s reputation for sustainability, increasingly a determining factor in consumer choice.

Why Choose Orderly?

When you opt for Orderly, you’re not just investing in a tool; you’re investing in a complete suite designed for the unique challenges of the F&B industry. We offer comprehensive solutions that cover inventory, ordering, and forecasting. By utilising real-time data and analytics, Orderly provides actionable insights that lead to profitable and sustainable operations.


In today’s volatile market, relying on traditional forecasting methods is a gamble that most F&B brands can’t afford to take. Big data offers an alternative that’s not only efficient but also sustainable. Leveraging this technology not only maximises profitability but also contributes to a healthier planet.

Orderly is here to facilitate this transition. Our all-in-one suite ensures you don’t have to go through multiple channels to achieve your goals. With precise forecasting, you can identify missed sales opportunities, optimise inventory levels, and play a part in building a more sustainable future.

Take the guesswork out of your operations. Increase profit. Reduce waste. Help us achieve our goal of reducing food waste across the world. Choose data, choose sustainability, contact us today.