GFSI 2020 - Changing Consumer Demands Challenge Food Industry

Safety, health, sustainability and honesty were only some of the buzzwords that were discussed at this year's GFSI conference which took place in Seattle. The conference was again a great success and attracted more than 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. In the following articles we would like to share our learnings with you. 

How can we feed a future population of 10 billion people? And how can we make sure that the food is safe? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million Americans fall ill with a foodborne disease each year. About 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. Precautions must now be taken to ensure that safe food is available to a wide range of people. Therefore, GFSI highlighted the importance of CEO's signed commitments, clear KPI's, faster implementation of actions and precautions to ensure food safety everywhere.

Consumer demands are more sophisticated

In the food industry, consumer demands are increasing and becoming more sophisticated. Consumers are seeking food and beverages which taste great, are healthy, transparent, sustainable, "made for me" and easy accessible. This so-called consumer revolution is driving customer transformation, which will lead to a reshaping of the industry. This reshape will have a deep impact on the organizational agility, supply chains, innovations and the overall manufacturing process.

Predictive Data Management

While in previous years "Blockchain" has always been one of the buzzwords of the conference, this year "Predictive Data Management" was a focused topic. Amazon shared insights how they use predictive data management and what it means for their business. They accelerate data preparation and join historical data sets such as demographics, transactions, and service calls to create scenarios that enable the company to recall a product before an emergency product withdrawal happens. This approach increases the ability to derive more accurate and predictable results.

The GFSI conference is the best opportunity to network with food safety leaders from Retail, Food Service, Regulators, Food Safety Standard Owners, Auditors and Service Providers. Another benefit is to gain exposure to industry trends and get insights on how the industry is addressing challenges in the industry. For us it was great to meet our long-term co-operation partner Transparency-one and to meet the TÜV Rheinland of North America after we have already been co-operating with the TÜV Nord Germany.

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