Is the consumer driving the food chain?

Is the consumer driving the food chain?

The line to the consumer is becoming ever shorter. Initiatives such as Ins World and Amazon are eliminating all the steps in the chain from manufacturer to consumer. Consumers have increasing power and freedom to determine from which manufacturer their food products are purchased. Market digitalisation means that the consumer is no longer limited to the scope of the local retailer - and the number of food products on offer has increased exponentially. How can you safeguard that the consumer, in this ever-expanding marketplace - elects to buy your products? And what adjustments are required in the supply chain and with regard to internal digitalisation?

Written by: Dennis Leijdekkers

The consumer is coming closer

Far-reaching transparency in the food chain has granted the consumer access to an increasing amount of data. Where does the product come from? How did it find its way from farm to fork? And which parties were involved along the way? In other words, what's stopping consumers from using this new knowledge to reach out to alternative food chains to satisfy their requirements? By providing the consumer with correct information related to certification such as Fairtrade and by being able to verify the point of origin, the consumer's decision-making process can be both influenced and supported. This information flow calls for integral information disclosure, whereby the product can be tracked and traced from farm to fork. Internal processes need to be amended so that the market can be served with precise product information.

Online one-stop marketplaces

The surge in online marketplaces has turned the greater need for information disclosure into a recurring item. Platforms such as Ins World and Amazon reduce the chain to the consumer by profiling themselves as online one-stop marketplaces, whereby the consumer is offered an overview of the comprehensive product range and producers. The major difference with current online retail practice is that the transaction typically takes place directly between manufacturer and consumer. The accuracy of information plays a crucial and decisive role in this process. The amount of data from these direct consumer orders that influence internal processes is set to increase. Consider fruit baskets compiled by consumers themselves, or meal components, or independent choice of delivery times.

Keep the focus on your product

Direct delivery to consumers is accompanied by various chain challenges. In order to connect the fresh produce chain to this process, Schouw offers an any-device platform with which the correct information is provided for the various steps along the way. By making use of Foodware 365 in combination with Office 365, PowerBI, PowerApps and Flow, the processes are optimised and information provided throughout the supply chain. With the help of this Microsoft eco system, Schouw offers food companies peace of mind, enabling them to keep their focus on what really counts: their own product range.