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Consumers are demanding more. They expect to know exactly where their products are sourced from, what impact they have on people and the planet, and the journey they have been on to reach the end consumer.

And this information is starting to impact sales.

We’re already seeing that the products providing greater transparency on provenance, sustainability, allergens and nutrition, are more likely to get selected by shoppers over those items that don’t provide this information. If we look to the future, this information could be a key cost advantage for brands looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.

But there is a gap.

Supply chains are not keeping up with consumer expectations, they are not delivering the level of service expected and they are not helping consumers feel in control. To tackle this gap, we need to build a collaborative approach to collecting, managing and sharing data to increase transparency across the industry. This will require time and investment, from groups such as the Consumer Goods Forum’s Product Data Coalition of Action who are focused on ensuring all brand owners, retailers and platforms follow the same foundational data model.

If we take a look at our African counterparts, in some cases, their supply chains are more advanced than those in Europe, because while they have been applying the latest technologies and data best practices, European operations have not adapted for years.

But Brexit and COVID-19 give us the opportunity to change that. To start challenging the status quo and investing in innovation to close the gap between consumer expectations and supply chain reality.

On Thursday 4 February at 8:30am-9:15am, supply chain experts from IBM, Nestlé, Cranfield University and GS1 UK, will explore how we can close the gap and, in return, start creating greater value for consumers and shareholders.

Register to join the webinar and kickstart your morning with a little inspiration.


This blog was written and contributed by:

Jenni Day

Senior Marketing Manager

GS1 UK