The disruption of consumer behaviour and trends across the food and beverage industry during the pandemic has caused manufacturers to shift in more ways the one, as discussed by leaders in an online event hosted by Dassault Systèmes.
Around 300 attendees registered for the Building Resilient and Sustainable Food and Beverage Supply Chainsevent on LinkedIn, which outlined the shift in behaviour of consumers and need for manufacturers to adapt to rapid changes.
Online attendees heard from three speakers – John Ansley, Capgemini vice president, digital engineering and manufacturing; Timothy De Coster, Asahi group supply chain design & planning manager; and Alice Steenland, Dassault Systèmes vice president, chief sustainability officer – on such behavioural changes, as well as how new technology can aid in support producers' logistical shifts.
Ansley highlighted the trends in the food and beverage industry, as well as the need for manufacturers to secure cash flows and understand inbound and outbound supply chains “to ensure the materials they need can create their products and get those products to market”.
Pivoting production, such as alcohol companies developing hand sanitiser, as well as meeting constant, instant demand is a leading trend for consumers that producers must keep an eye on, Ansley said.
“The food and beverage industry needs to respond to this by taking some control in creating a personalisation menu for the individual customer, whether it’s another company or an individual, so they can rapidly serve the customer they want to be served.”
“When you move away from a store experience and to an on-demand experience for the customer, you need to find a way to use the technology that once worked quite nicely at a grocery store level, work at an individual level, and then understand what the patterns are, and those patterns will change.”
“It will be a huge data exercise and understanding what you need to be manufacturing and what you will need in your inbound and outbound supply chains, will be key.”
Following Ansley’s discussion was Asahi’s Timothy De Coster who provided examples of the beverage producers shift during the pandemic, such as its Love of Your Local campaign, as well as expanding its product portfolio.
“We’ve made a conscious decision to move into craft and new categories, such as ginger and organic beers. Simultaneously, our customers expect to be delighted and see more range in store,” said De Coster.
“We’re also trying to adapt by changing the layout of our warehouses to be able to efficiently and effectively deliver those products.”
“At the same, time we’re making sure from a commercial side, we’re tracking our innovation and products and being able to kill our darlings to delete products and put new innovations in place with IBT (integrated business planning).”
De Coster said that by providing training and supporting the process with more software on the technical, strategic and operational level, is helping to ensure there is real time visibility in the supply chain to be tracked.
Finally, Steenland discussed the circular economy and the expectation from consumers for businesses are conscious of owning the whole lifecycle of the products being created.
“This idea of extended manufacturer liability will mean we are part of a model where, if you make it, you own it,” she said.
“It means you own the full lifecycle of that object and in some way or another, you have to understand and manage the end of life of what you’ve bult and that’s where the economy is headed. It means a lot of opportunity for a lot of companies who are taking the lead in this.
The full event can be accessed here.