CPG Brands Struggle as Consumers Demand ‘Supply Chain’ Transparency

by Amanda Elliott

CPG Brands Struggle as Consumers Demand Supply Chain Transparency - Innovation ExcellenceUnderstanding consumer needs and demands and then adapting to them often requires companies to change their processes and innovate.

In a recent podcast, AgFunderNews addressed how CPG brands are struggling to be transparent throughout the supply chain. As consumers shift and become more socially and environmentally responsible, Fortune 500 companies and startups are seeking R&D consultants like PreScouter to uncover what technologies they will need to invest in to meet these consumer demands.

Fortune 500 Companies and Startups Talk Supply Chains:

Fortune 500 and startup guests from General Mills and s2G Ventures highlighted the elevated consumer demands to trace their food products to the source.

Beth Robertson-Martin, sourcing lead for organic, natural and non-GMO ingredients at General Mills notes that “there’s no shortage of demand for transparency through the supply chain and it’s not always easy to trace every ingredient to the specific field that it was grown on so I think there’s definitely a need for technology to make it easier for us to do that and as quickly as possible.”

CPG is one of several industries that is innovating to increase supply chain transparency for educated and informed consumers. The food industry, for example, is undergoing food fraud because of fragmentation in supply chains.

Smartphones Increase Demand for Supply Chain Transparency:

For the CPG industry especially, smartphone apps may be driving demand.

Sanjeev Krishnan, founding partner at S2G Ventures, the Chicago-based food and ag tech venture capital firm said in the podcast, “As the smartphone becomes more smart and you want to see where it came from I think the supply chain is already interested and aware that it is coming down the pipeline and want to get ahead of that. They want to make sure their supply chains can handle that level of transparency.”

Technologies to Track the Supply Chain:

How does a company go about finding the supply chain source? They can either hire a third party or conduct screenings internally. Both options incur a bias and an added cost to the bottom line. Even in doing so, large Fortune 500 companies may incur additional setbacks by increasing supply chain transparency. For instance, they may find that their sources cannot provide a certain degree of transparency, as they use an array of brokers throughout the supply chain.

Corporations look to new, emerging technologies to solve supply chain transparency needs such as blockchain technology, as well as new processes.
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Amanda Elliott is the Marketing Coordinator and Journal Editor at PreScouter. She is experienced in creating content and marketing campaigns. In her free time, Amanda interviews other Chicago startups in her blog, Windy City Cosmo.

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