1. Supply chain review
Whether as a company you are at the beginning, middle or end of a chain your entire commercial enterprise depends upon its’ resilience in terms of security against fraud and contamination, quality, quantity, consistency, responsiveness and ethics. A review of your supply chains will protect your company from a strategic position, protect your brand and reputation, as well as providing protection under the defence of due diligence for any food safety or quality strict liability offence.
2015 may well be the year of yet further pressure on suppliers generally and a robust set of terms and conditions and knowledge of customers’ needs will be essential armoury against this.
Conversely, if your bottom line is vanishing a review of suppliers to ensure optimum value will be required; however, there should always be the caveat, even in this age of the discounters, that ‘value’ may not necessarily be allied simply to price but would also reflect the values of the customer and the brand.
2. Mergers & Acquisitions
The world is shrinking and the economies of scale mean that companies are increasingly looking to one another for growth.
The efficiencies of consolidation in such a competitive marketplace with a likely continued low interest rate (at least until post-May) means that 2015 is likely to continue and increase the trend for M&A’s.
However, although size matters, responsiveness to the consumer and the marketplace will still take priority and it may be that this year will also see some larger players ‘slimming down’.
3. Labelling and marketing
The arena of food labelling and marketing is now subject to extensive regulation. A real advantage can be gained where any specific health or nutrition claim or other unique selling point can be upheld. It is essential that there is sufficient evidence to support any claims.
The new EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation is now in force, regulating even more stringently product labelling.
A proactive approach to incorporating and complying with regulation will protect the product/brand and save costs; also where claims can be maintained this will give a clear advantage in the market.