This is the second installment in a two-part series on major changes taking place in the US foodservice industry. In the first installment we looked at some of the key challenges, deriving from traditional industry practices in sales & marketing that impede optimal performance by manufacturers, distributors and operators in the sector. This second installment will take a closer look at converging technologies that are poised to shake up the industry, and look at ways for industry players to benefit from these developments with intelligent, coordinated approaches to technology-driven solutions.
For manufacturers of foodservice products an important and often elusive goal is to gain visibility into the factors shaping and influencing downstream demand. The view from upstream is obscured by one or more layers of intermediation separating products from their end customers. Manufacturers typically set aside the largest part of their sales and marketing budgets for payments to trade partners, but evidence suggests that these expenditures do little to improve their understanding of actual downstream demand. Whether on their own or in collaboration with trade partners, manufacturers need to make better use of the data that can provide accurate intelligence about what is happening downstream. The good news is that the data are available, and new technologies are converging to enable manufacturers to capture information from which to make better sales & marketing decisions. The challenge is to get around the obstacles that are preventing this from happening. Continue reading
This is the first installment in a two-part series on major changes taking place in the US foodservice industry. In this installment we look at some of the key challenges, stemming from current industry practices, that impede optimal performance by manufacturers, distributors and operators in the sector. The second installment will examine converging technologies that are poised to challenge the industry status quo, and present an opportunity to benefit through improved sales and marketing analytics for those who are prepared.
It's a new world for FAFH, but the industry remains stuck in unproductive practices
The foodservice industry, comprised of the food prepared away from home (FAFH) sector of the food & beverage market, accounts for about 46% of all consumer dollars spent on food and beverage products in the US. Over the past twenty years this business has changed considerably as American lifestyle habits, choices and spending propensities have evolved with regard to food and beverage consumption. Yet manufacturers, distributors and operators in the foodservice industry have in many ways been slow to adapt their sales and marketing practices to better serve the evolving preferences of the end consumer. As a result there are considerable inefficiencies up and down the value chain resulting in suboptimal performance for all parties. Trade spend management, campaign marketing and other critical activities suffer from an absence of data-driven input for decision-making, as well as the inability to effectively monitor and evaluate performance. Relations between trade partners are often characterized by mistrust and a lack of willingness to work together for win-win outcomes. Continue reading