The food industry is moving more and more into a polar world. Food is either understood as part of the way of life, or simply as a commodity. Positioning at the equator is a thing of the past. Both poles require operational excellence and high-performance structures in diametrically opposed disciplines, and each offers long-term growth opportunities.
Business models geared to the commodity market must above all cope with extreme price pressure and strong volume dependency. In contrast, suppliers focused on the label-driven market must find solutions to deal with small lot sizes, effective brand management, consistent supply chain integration and a massive increase in complexity. Complexity arises along several dimensions. On the one hand, it affects products, packaging, raw materials, flows of goods and the increasing speed of information in manufacturing. On the other hand, complexity is also increasing in indirect areas.