8th edition Gamechangerz in Food Anticipating Disruption

3 October 2022

3 October 2022

On Thursday, September 29, the 8th edition of Gamechangerz in Food was all about the extreme dynamics that many food companies are currently facing. Scarcity in raw materials, labor and rising energy costs puts pressure on operations and supply chains. Virtually all executives also see this reflected in declining volumes and returns. Although the long period of COVID has made it easier for companies to anticipate external influences, the outlook for the coming years is as challenging as ever:

  • Loss of purchasing power erodes sales and demand
  • Competition between retailers and (own) brands will increase
  • Labor market not obviously getting easier
  • Sustainability becomes rock solid condition and complexity
  • Further uncertainty in resource availability

The first guest speaker at the 8th edition of Gamechangerz in Food, Milan Peters of GfK, confirmed the first visible effects in changing purchasing behavior by consumers. From this follows the clear advice to continue investing in brands and loyalty, while always calibrating in approach to the “last normal.”

During the event, Els van Olphen of Henri looked back on the impact of the coronavirus on her company but also expressed great confidence about the future: anticipate, keep looking ahead but also cherish your own strength.

The third contribution by Koen Schoors of Ghent University provided an interesting long-term perspective. The various developments call for companies to spread risk, become even more agile, as well as digitize and automate.

Bas van Eekelen, partner at Gwynt closed the plenary session and concluded “first make sure the tent is calm and then start building for future-proofing.” In times of crisis, it is important to keep a grip and create calm:

1. Employees first priority: bring focus to recruitment and retention. You often achieve the latter by instilling confidence and setting clear goals. This clarity gives frameworks but also decisiveness to solve problems quickly.
2. Complexity out of your range: do what you do best by making sharp choices. Here, Gwynt often uses a 9-box analysis that pragmatically provides immediate insight into where the pain is. This immediately helps reduce complexity in operations.
3. Make work of S&OP and scenario planning: by making operation and supply chain transparent based on real-time insight, you are much less likely to be surprised and can actually anticipate.

Gwynt helps many companies facing this type of dilemma to then lay a foundation for new initiatives that contribute to future-proofing. Strengthening your proposition through innovations and partnerships, but also investing in mechanization, automation and sustainability from a vision. In doing so, remember that the pitfall is to want to rush into everything. At this point, then, strategy, sharp choices and culture of excellence remain particularly important.

Want to learn more about this topic or join Gamechangerz in Food next time? Please feel free to contact us.