Comment and opinion

Find out what’s on the minds of the supply chain team.

03 February 2022
Food and consumer goods supply chains have faced extensive challenges in recent times, adapting to changing consumer behaviour, government policies, economic conditions and supply chain resource challenges. In the year to come, supply chains will continue to underpin food and consumer goods businesses. In this article, we introduce the key trends expected to shape supply chains in 2022 and sha...
14 October 2021
The EU has unveiled a series of measures that are set to reduce the amount of paperwork and the number of internal UK border checks that are required under the protocol on goods crossing the Irish sea to Northern Ireland (NI) from the rest of the UK. Background Treatment of trade between GB and NI poses numerous practical difficulties and it is exceptionally sensitive, politically, for both...
13 October 2021
The current shortage of HGV drivers is perhaps the biggest challenge the food and consumer goods industry has faced in years. Its impact can be seen in supermarkets, which have been negatively impacted by missed deliveries and replenishment problems in recent weeks. A few months ago, my colleague James Walton looked at the overarching causes, consequences and potential remedies to the HGV dri...
31 August 2021
We round up the most-read content from August, selecting some of the key insights from the most viewed reports of that month. We published last month a report that highlights the key findings of IGD’s supply chain leaders survey , which looks at how senior supply chain professionals across the food and consumer goods industry are feeling about challenges, strategy and capability needs. We als...
25 August 2021
We recently published the results from IGD's  Supply Chain Leaders Survey , which gathers responses from senior supply chain personnel around the world. Respondents came from organisations including PepsiCo, Unilever, Kellogg’s, DHL, Mondelez, Amazon, Mars, DHL, Co-op, L’oreal, Nestle and Procter & Gamble. The survey results higlight the many challenges the industry’s supply chains are grapp...
19 August 2021
The UK government’s Plastic Tax will target manufacturers who use less than 30% recycled plastic in their plastic packaging from April 2022. The tax is anticipated to impact 20,000 manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging. About the Plastic Tax The Plastic Tax will be a new tax that applies to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least...
18 August 2021
There is no doubt that sustainability is now at the forefront of the food and consumer goods industry’s priorities. Several industry players are now taking action, to different extents, to embed sustainability into their operations, their culture and core business strategies. At this year’s Supply Chain Summit from IGD, we discussed the subject with Michael Pooley, CEO of IFCO systems, Anna Tu...
12 August 2021
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of focus on synchronising the moving parts of food and consumer goods supply chains, increasing collaboration levels and improving visibility over the end-to-end value chain. At the recent Supply Chain Summit from IGD, we invited a range of supply chain professionals to share their views. Here’s a selection of key insights from the session, which i...
27 July 2021
In the second issue of its quarterly  ‘Viewpoint’ report , the economics team at IGD focus on the challenges emerging for the food and consumer goods industry as the economy continues to recover. The latest research has highlighted three key themes: 1. Significant risks to the recovery remain Businesses need to remain alert and agile as a number of factors could mean bumps in the road to...
14 July 2021
For food and drink businesses, supply chain capability is a major component within an overall competitive package. Supply chain professionals process data, predict demand and plan flexible, efficient delivery at minimal cost. The modern food and drink “offer” would not be possible without these value-adding activities. In recent months, however, IGD’s supply chain contacts have reported a pe...
29 June 2021
This is a roundup of June’s most popular content, highlighting some of the key insights from the most viewed reports of the previous month. In the last month of Q2, we produced our eighth and last benchmarking report of the series (2020/2021) which focused on waste and sustainability . In addition, we produced a landmark report that provides a vision of how food and consumer goods stores wi...
24 June 2021
Last Thursday saw the culmination of the Supply Chain Summit 2021 from IGD. The event was delivered virtually, with over thirty-five speakers tackling some of the industry’s biggest supply chain challenges. As supply chains evolve to become a source of competitive advantage, they increasingly determine who wins in the food and consumer goods industry. As such, they must develop the right mix o...
27 May 2021
A growing need to focus on ecommerce performance The last twelve months or so have seen massive growth in the online grocery retail channel, with the rate of growth accelerated by the pandemic and its associated shifts in consumer behaviour.  Though growth of the channel is expected to slow down somewhat, as COVID-related restrictions ease globally, IGD forecasts an average compound annual gro...
27 May 2021
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most significant shocks that global supply chains have ever faced. It has had a profound impact on the food and consumer goods industry with changes to how people shop set to impact end-to-end supply chains for a long time to come. In this blog, I look at the impact of COVID-19 on two key aspects of supply chain performance: end-to-end ...
21 April 2021
IGD recently ran a virtual roundtable event, in which supply chain professionals gathered to share and discuss their understanding of supply chain cost, and how to extract more value. The event coincides with the publishing of our latest benchmarking report  focused on end-to-end supply chain costs. The event comprised of several discussion topics: How good is the industry’s grasp ...
28 January 2021
On-shelf availability (OSA) is often considered the most significant supply chain performance indicator for grocery retailers. Poor OSA can have serious implications for retailers and manufacturers, from lost sales to dissatisfied customers. We gathered a picture of OSA across our industry through our global supply chain benchmarking survey, which attracted 320 responses. We also looked at OSA...
05 January 2021
Before COVID-19, I’d describe the online channel as a bit like a child. It was small, and fast-growing. If you had an online role, to get senior stakeholders’ attention, and ultimately more resource, you repeatedly spoke, (perhaps nagged), about contribution growth. Some of you might even have had to throw tantrums to get that additional resource. Today, online is a much bigger part of all our...
16 December 2020
This year, we relaunched Supply Chain Analysis following a consultation with our user base. As a difficult year draws to a close, I’m going to take a look back at some of the changes we’ve made and how you can benefit from them. I’ll also cast an eye forward to our plans for 2021.   Data at the heart Through our interactions with retailers and manufacturers, it was clear there was a desire ...
19 November 2020
In any ‘normal’ year, the retail sector would be about to shift into fifth gear in preparation for the festive season. However, 2020 has been anything but normal. So instead, the industry finds itself entering the season having already been in overdrive for months. It’s a similar picture around the world, but in the UK and continental Europe, there is the additional challenge of the UK's depar...
07 July 2020
The warehousing space has been undergoing substantial technological development in recent years. This is the upshot of rising demand for distribution space, which has been partly amplified by the current COVID-19 pandemic. There are a few drivers of exploration:   Potential long-term financial savings A declining labour pool The need to increase efficiencies However, the adopt...
24 June 2020
COVID-19 has caused a monumental shift in consumers’ food and drink habits. Our new Eating In Vs Dining Out report, produced in collaboration with foodservice consultant Peter Backman, explores the impact of COVID-19 on the UK food and drink market and outlines four scenarios for the future. During the pandemic, the boundaries between eating at home and out-of-home, already blurred, have b...
16 June 2020
We recently published the first report in IGD’s new benchmarking series , presenting the results of our Supply Chain Performance Measurement survey. The survey attracted responses from 225 supply chain professionals around the world, from a range of supply chain functions that cover the entire supply chain, including demand planning, procurement, transport, operations, customer development, ...
09 April 2020
We recently wrote about some ways that supply chains have shown flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic .  Similarly, this article looks at supply chain flexibility but with a focus on resource optimisation. Human resource sharing arrangements While the use of automation in supply chains is becoming more widespread, supply chain operations remain largely dependent upon human labour. The C...
03 April 2020
This article looks at three ways supply chains have been flexible in overcoming some of the challenges that COVID-19 has introduced. 1.    Relaxing of legislation and regulation We have seen governments around the world temporarily relax legislation to increase the velocity of essential supplies (food and health-related items) through the supply chain. One of the first areas of legislati...
19 March 2020
The impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having is unprecedented, with retailers and manufacturers around the world dealing with a sudden sharp increase in demand for goods. We know retailers are highly effective at dealing with significant changes in trade when given time to plan. However, time is a luxury the current situation has not afforded, and this is reflected in what’s being seen at the sh...