ROBB Report Magazine Interview 2022

Changing Habits

We talked about food and beverage trends with Dem Global’s CEO, Kerem Kerimoglu, who is adistributor of world-renowned beverage brands.

You said that Generation Z likes to break old habits and, therefore the sense of entertainment and eating and drinking habits have changed, in one of your interviews. Can you explain that a little bit?

Generation Z is creative, visionary, and target oriented. Personally, I enjoy working with young professionals from Generation Z. As the new generation entered the business world, the old ways of business started to change, and the representation of different ideas increased. Instead of following old habits, Generation Z displays its own style and way of doing business. We need to ask them for their opinions, encourage them, and make them feel supported. This is how we can create inspiring innovations.

Do you think that the venues which had to be digitalized due to the pandemic can keep up with this new system?

We need to not underestimate how entertainment and digitalization feed each other. We can search for hundreds of places before we go out and see the score and comments of the places; when a new place opens, we know instantly. Entertainment and digitalization are connected. Places that can assimilatethe soul of the process and keep up with digitalization have come out of the pandemic with more strength.

In the past, it was unusual for a restaurant to turn into a nightclub late at night, it would have news value. But now we see this in most places. Do you think this is a positive change? 

We used to go to places in the afternoon and eat at a place correlating with the Turkish customs in the evening. A club entertainment would follow that. This is changing now. With the restaurants turn into nightclubs late at night, people can stay at one venue for a long time to finalize their entertainment. In the past, going out after work meant going to different places, Now, only one place can be enough. When we enter a restaurant, first, the bar attracts our attention. I believe that is a positive change. Women have played a major role in this change, provided quality in a sense. Thanks to women, men developed their drinking knowledge. We adapted to the qualities they brought. We learned to combine meals and drinks from women. Especially, good quality food and drink harmony started in the industry.

The number of catering companies that provide alcoholic beverage services, such as preparing drinks and creating cocktail recipes, is increasing. What kind of impact do these types of companies bring to brands of alcoholic beverages and for you?

As professionals of the sector, we feed off each other, improve one another and strive to improve the quality. These companies are important in this regard because they work together to add value to each other. This also affects the consumer and how the industry evolves. 

Recently, we are witnessing a new cocktail culture form all over the world. During the lockdown, people created their own recipes for cocktails, so, when they go out, they want more satisfying options. In your opinion, what is the most important factor driving people to this behavior?

The consumer profile is more demanding, has a better taste sensation, and is open to new experiences. This situation increases the number of businesses who want to work with innovative barmen and barmaids who are up to date with trends. This is an advantage for the industry. But I must mention that as it is an occasion that might increase the quality of home consumption, it may reduce the frequency of going out.

Do you think Turkey is successful at following trends? What food and beverage trends do you think that comes forward in our country recently?

The food and beverage industry in Turkey is following the world trends closely. Popular beverage trends abroad are spreading rapidly in our country. We are experiencing a process where the brands are more focused on innovation than on classics and beverage preferences are changing. 

We can say the tastes are trendy in the world are replacing the formerly popular beverages. We have a formation that adapts quickly to changes. This is a great advantage for us. In the recent days, mixed drinks accompany meals. Quality food and drink harmony is trending. We see reflection of this trendin Turkey as well. Good chefs are supported by companies like us. They make their preparationsthinking what meal goes well with which drink.

Do you think that social media influenced consumption and going out habits during the pandemic?

Interaction between individuals on social media is very high. We can examine this in all aspects of consumption habits, including going out. Social media applications have a major influence on restaurant choices. I believe that the impact of digitalization on the food and beverage industry will keep on increasing in the future.

The number of people who digitally recorded the gastronomy stops they visited has increased. You are one of them. How much do these records affect your future choices?

Digitization is an “experience” from the bottom to the top. Now we are in a term where we look at menus with QR codes. New concepts push places to follow the new shopping habits. I also use an application. I record the restaurants I go to and the menus I like. Those who go there or use the app can see it.

How has your way of conducting business changed in the last two years?

The pandemic has further accelerated digitalization that was already there. We adapted to this thanks to our agile and dynamic structure. In the last two years, we have changed so many things from ourway of doing business to our marketing strategies. We have turned this period into an advantage for our company. We have made a total transformation in line with our innovative, teamwork oriented, communicative, and development-oriented team.

Are there any changes in your food and beverage, and entertainment preferences?

I started choosing places where I could enjoy delicious cocktails before or after dinner. I also try fine dining restaurants where exclusive chefs work and have food and beverage harmony.

Dem Global CEO Kerem Kerimoğlu expresses they have turned the changes which came with the pandemic into an advantage for their company.