According to the 2016 annual “U.S. Food & Beverage Industry Study,” released by New York-based WeiserMazars LLP, most food and beverage companies anticipate a significant increase in sales this year.

Survey participants, who were drawn from more than 200 companies across the food and beverage industry, are confident sales will increase 14 percent compared with 2015 and project that net profits will rise by 10 percent. Respondents attributed this growth prediction to secular industry trends currently favoring both private label and healthy/nutritious foods.

However, these gains are weighed against the rising costs in labor and healthcare, which are anticipated to rise by 5 and 11 percent, respectively. Both large and small companies also identified new regulations related to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act as a top external concern, it adds.

“The dynamic nature of the food and beverage industry continues to challenge organizations looking for growth,” said Louis J. Biscotti, partner who leads the Food & Beverage Practice, in a statement. “Through this survey, we’re pleased to provide executives with comprehensive insight into potential industry drivers and best practices to stay ahead of the competition.”

The survey delved into areas including performance, planning, and challenges facing food and beverage companies. In addition, the survey addressed how they are adapting to changing consumer trends, proposed government regulations, new companies entering the field, and new product and service offerings. Where applicable, responses were sorted by firm size, providing more nuanced insights into industry trends. Survey participants included manufacturers and wholesalers/distributors, which represent a range of annual sales volumes from $1 million or less to more than $500 million, it says.

To see the entire study, click on WeiserMazars’ 2016 Food & Beverage Industry Study or visit