SIAL TALK: Revolutionising the food industry

December 18, 2023

In this week’s look back at a SIAL Talk, visitors to the show had the opportunity to attend a session with Emmanuel Fournet, Customer Success Leader France, NIELSENIQ.

Mr Fournet emphasised the significant role of digital channels, particularly e-commerce, in reshaping consumer behaviour and supply chain management. He pointed out how digital tools facilitate better transparency, traceability, and personalisation in food products, highlighting the growing influence of blockchain technology in ensuring product quality.

The e-commerce boom and its impacts

Focusing on the French market, Emmanuel Fournet detailed the rising trend of e-commerce in the food industry, a phenomenon mirrored globally. He noted a significant shift in consumer purchasing habits, driven by inflation and changing demographics. Interestingly, despite a temporary decline in online food sales in 2022, the overall trend shows a consistent increase in e-commerce’s share of the food market. This growth is attributed to the evolving shopper behaviour post-COVID-19, with more people opting for online shopping due to convenience and safety concerns.

Future trends and consumer adaptation

Looking ahead, Mr Fournet explored various potential digital advancements in the food sector. These included automation and artificial intelligence in supply chain management, the emergence of gamification and the metaverse in customer engagement, and the rise of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) models.

However, he stressed the importance of consumer awareness and willingness to embrace these technologies. The success of these innovations relies heavily on their adoption by the public, necessitating increased efforts in educating and familiarising consumers with these new digital experiences.

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