Food production and retailing globally is undergo- ing a radical transformation. And as a result, the food industry is likely to transform more in the next decade than it has over the past ;; years. Technology innovation is fueling an explosion in disruptive business models. Consequently, new competitors are emerging, rede;ning consumers’ expectations and o;ering unique value proposi- tions that are disrupting the industry.
The emergence of digital platforms, urban agriculture,
DNA-based diets, vertical farming and food as a service
are signaling a dramatic shift in how consumers interact
with food. Underlying these rapid changes are macro
forces shaping the way the world produces, distributes,
GROWING YOUR BIZ
buys, sells and consumes food.
Global population growth is expected to exceed
;;;, and the shift from rural to urban life will increase
demands for future food stocks and shorter, more e;cient supply chains. In addition, wealth inequality continues to widen, creating disparities in access to healthy
food among socioeconomic and income groups; at the
same time, healthy eating is a rising trend in developed
parts of the world. These macro forces and many more
are combining to make immediate and lasting impacts on
The future of food is fast and fresh and, in turn, requires
a new set of solutions to a new set of challenges. Over the
coming years, we see ;ve areas of focus for companies
operating in this space to consider as they embark on a
“moving-to-modern” journey of tech-led innovation.
;. Innovate with new service and business models.
We are seeing retail’s value proposition transition from
product-centric to service-centric, organized around the
consumer. Big brands are moving to cut out the middleman, and grocers are considering new routes to market,
such as the growing number of companies exploring
subscription services. In this environment, new business
models will be essential in delivering competitive di;erentiation, consumer lifetime value and shareholder profits that traditional models will be challenged to produce.
;. Pivot to digital platforms. With margin pressure
mounting on commoditized categories, digital and physical transformation will be essential to the food marketplace. Companies have the potential to unlock market
value by taking note of the basics that small brands and tiny
disruptors get right from the start—largely stealing market
share by simply being faster, more agile and relevant.
Grocers will need to create platforms that enable
greater supplier collaboration, and integrated services to
capture revenue outside traditional categories of goods.
These platforms will need to prototype and deliver new
technology, business processes and ultimately customer
experiences in weeks, not months.
;. Create a seamless customer experience.
Successful companies will place the customer at the center of
all decisions and design a seamless journey that is more
;uid, responsive and predictive to their ever-changing
demands and expectations. The winners will be those
who invest heavily in data, tools and capabilities to keep
their insights and knowledge on par with technology
companies. They will create di;erentiated experiences
by tirelessly removing customer pain in both physical and
digital environments with a combination of services and
new in-store experiences. To succeed, grocers will need
Steve Pinder is managing
director of Kurt Salmon,
part of Accenture Strategy.
Will Power the
Future of Food
A new set of solutions are needed to address a new set of
challenges in the fast and fresh grocery world. By Steve Pinder
Expert views on retail strategy, talent management and leadership development