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