What challenge(s) do our clients face?
The food industry is characterized by variation, and different factors have to be considered depending on which categories, channels, and geographies you play in
The food industry is so heterogeneous by nature, it is almost too simplistic to refer to it as one industry – characterized by a huge number of categories and consumption habits, which vary widely across and even within individual markets. On top of this highly variable foundation, food products are sold through a multitude of channels, with different length value chains occupied by players ranging from international conglomerates to neighborhood producers. The complexity generated by the almost infinite number of scenarios means that in any case, a player needs to understand their competitive environment in-depth in order to find and sustain success, considering the challenges that are native to different products or channels:
How do we help?
Our experience across the entire value chain combined with your knowledge of your business enables us to support challenges of every combination and context
Integration’s greatest support to our clients often comes from helping you to understand your own unique situation in-depth and identify which success factors are at play, considering the characteristics of your particular combination of categories, channels, and geographies.
We have a solid track record of supporting food manufacturers with projects delivered in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, on local, regional, and global levels. From our hands-on approach, we have developed experience in understanding how cultural and socio-economic factors influence consumption behaviors from one place to another – helping us support our clients to understand the different variables that may be driving consumer behavior. Likewise, having worked across the entire ecosystem of players from farm to plate, we know the different challenges that are typically faced along the value chain and can bring a variety of perspectives to develop solutions that work, whatever angle you view them from.
We have worked with clients in different categories, geographies and positions along the value chain:
Our client, a Brazilian multinational protein producer, was facing regulatory changes in its leading international market. These changes would result in sudden exportation restrictions, and the business needed to reorganize accordingly. Integration was asked to support the identification and implementation of cost reduction opportunities, through process standardization and efficiency gains.
Our approach was to map the organizational structure and processes across decentralized operations, including factories, warehouses, and sales back-office, identify standardization opportunities, and redesign according to the client’s adjusted needs. Beyond the initial project scope, we worked together with the client to define a complete implementation plan aligned with a factories layoff roadmap, which was being developed simultaneously.
The project enabled the capture of ~USD$45 million in structure reduction opportunities and ~USD$15 million cost reduction in remuneration policy homogenization.
A Brazilian biscuit and cookies manufacturer needed to re-evaluate their production and logistic footprint, having revised their Go-to-Market strategy and opened a new factory. In this new context, in which the balance between direct and indirect channels had been impacted, the organization sought Integration’s help to optimize their production and logistical strategy.
We approached the project in a holistic way, analyzing the end to end costs (raw material, transportation, storage, production, distribution, end customer, taxes) and leveraging our cross-area knowledge to involve and engage people from the whole company, from procurement to customer service. From mapping the value chain and understanding the as-is costs, we used the 5-year forecast to simulate multiple investment scenarios to optimize operating costs at different levels of risk. Throughout the project, we actively considered sustainability, analyzing the impact of all strategic choices on carbon footprint.
We built clear action plans with the client which delivered up to 5% of accumulated cost savings over the next 5 years, supported by a detailed implementation roadmap covering production footprint, distribution and GTM expansion.
A food start-up created exclusively for the development of a plant-based hamburger sought our support to define if and how to launch, in a country in which this category did not exist.
Our first step was to understand how this new market would evolve, based on international references and consumer surveys. Through identifying the target consumer segment, substitutes, and categories with potential synergies and cross-activation, we could simulate growth and build a robust business case for a “go” decision. Following this, we worked with the client to define the complete entry strategy, including the phasing plan per region and channel. We simulated topline projections per client, defined a client top priority list, and a complete financial simulation, including the marketing budget.
The client is currently on track with the most aggressive growth scenario simulated. A year after this project, Integration was invited back to the client to support prioritizing further markets and defining entry models.