When it comes to the opportunities facing the food retail industry, Mark Baum notes, “If you aren’t using technology to start checking off this list, you are behind the eight-ball, and you are at risk.”
A self-declared recovering candy and tobacco jobber from Brooklyn, Baum has seen a lot in his three decades in the food industry. While consulting for FMCG, retail, and distribution businesses, Mark has watched the food industry evolve while actively implementing go-to-market strategies and developing customer channels.
It’s not lost on him that all of this experience makes him uniquely qualified to be the Chief Commercial Officer of the Food Marketing Institute.
Mark’s recent interview with DecisionNext further proved his insight and experience captures the rapidly changing pace of food retail. Here are 3 quick takeaways from his interview that highlight the theme of change in the food industry.
1. Technology is enabling the supply chain from end to end.
Leaders are implementing technology to shift and shorten supply chains. They’ve realized that data kept in silos stops short of realizing its full value. This mindset is vital for retailers who are trying to grasp the unprecedented wave of competition facing the industry. Leadership that can embrace using data and technology in partnership with their trading partners will have an advantage.
2. Customized shopping experiences will win over customers.
Retail leaders of the future will focus on marketing products and packages, leaving aimless laggards pushing coupons. Imagine a world where rather than a grocery coupon for 15% off, Kroger will send specific, personalized communication for five items you might be interested in based on prior transaction data. The customer feels understood and the company has personalized the shopping experience. As a retailer, you haven’t given away a dime in product margin - you’re just using smart data in your customer marketing.
3. Simple solutions & quick implementations will reap rewards
Food retailers have a list of problems.
- Value chains need to be more transparent.
- Capital access and cost must be achieved for economies of scale.
- Technology for consumers must be easy to use.
Nimble, practical experimentation of technologies followed up with precise measurement is critical. Those companies that quickly implement their winning techniques will have the upper hand.