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The Supply Chain Turns On A Dime - Do You Have Change For A Dollar?

By Art van Bodegraven | 09/24/2017 | 11:02 AM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


Today's blog comes by way of mijn vrouw, with my thanks.  In the day, a drive to the consulting site involved following a truckload of tomatoes, many of which splattered on my windshield.  It was impossible to contemplate a grilled (faux) cheese sandwich wihout tomato soup in winter.  And, tomato soup - or ersatz chicken noodle - was a staple of the convenient pantry.

OK, hot shot.  What's next?  News flash! The demo just got more graphic.  Millennials and gen-Xers have increased fresh food consumption by almost a quarter in the past decade,  And, the highly profitable processed food grocery aisles have shrunk, internally, and with a diverse collection of outlets.

Against this backdrop, traditional mega-brands with household names have experienced flat or falling sales for years - along with shrinking profits.  One battleground in the food wars is in reformulated and repackaged - rebranded - products aimed at a new generation.  Combatants include Campbell's, Heinz, Mondelez, and ConAgra. Guerrilla allies have been acquired, much like indigenous fighters on "our" side in the American revolution.  They are having, with few numbers, some success, and foodie specialties are multiplying to aggravate the Pepperidge Farm-level players.

So, among other challenges, the cold chain needs revamping to handle the new kids on the block, and supply chain leaders must take action based on where their customers are going - and why.  

Get ready innovators; read the tea leaves or die.  Or, just maybe, Amazon will own this space, too.



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.



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