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Food industry growth opportunities - Sharpening execution - EY - Global

Food industry growth opportunities

Sharpening execution

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Food companies are focusing on consumer-centricity and the need to "delight," "wow" or "make each day delicious."

Improving consumer insight to deliver the "wow" factor

Food companies are seeking to understand product performance. They are weeding out tertiary brands and working with retailers to finesse the leading or innovative fast-growth brands that will drive category growth. They are also pursuing much closer relationships with consumers to gain deeper insight about specific tastes across all target segments.

Understanding the speed at which different markets move, and having the flexibility to develop local approaches that still align with the global brand, is key to success here.

Balancing retailer and consumer relationships

Potentially, the toughest task is simultaneously maintaining retailer relationships and consumer relationships, because this challenges traditional branding and marketing practice.

To succeed, food companies need a profound understanding of the underlying economics:

  • How much it costs to do business with global retailers
  • True cost of the investment in the consumer relationship
  • How best to join up the two

From competition to collaboration

Food companies are moving away from traditional, purely competitive relationships and seeking increased collaboration with customers and with other firms. Typical initiatives include:

  • Working together on promotions to create overall category growth
  • Jointly reducing supply chain costs
  • Exploring mutually inclusive benefits associated with the customer experience

Transforming the finance function

There is a need for more, better integrated management information to support business decision-making. Many of our clients are also focusing on opportunities to re-engineer the balance sheet and cash flow to boost profitability.

Revitalizing risk control and compliance

Food companies have significant new challenges to sharpen risk management practices and ensure internal controls are effective, such as:

  • Managing pricing pressures
  • Complying with regulation
  • Getting corporate governance right

How we can help

We support food companies on a wide range of initiatives to sharpen execution right across the business, from driving down costs to making processes more effective, structures more efficient and use of information more insightful. Our work includes:

  • Finance transformation
  • Customer collaboration and customer relationship management
  • Effective brand management
  • Risk management and compliance
  • Efficiency of controls: control function outsourcing and co-sourcing; internal audit
  • Enterprise performance management — improved planning and reporting capabilities

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