Guest Column | September 7, 2017

Supply Chain Transparency: Critical To Meeting Consumer Demands

Supply Chain Transparency: How Food Makers Help Empower Consumers

By Angela Fernandez, GS1 U.S.

Flash back to a moment in time just 10 years ago — two 20-somethings out on the town stop into a burger joint. They look at the menu, order, and eat without thinking much about anything other than taste and price. Imagine a similar scenario today, but instead with assistance from the couples’ smartphones, they pause to consider the establishment’s source of beef, if gluten-free buns are offered, and whether the company uses recyclable products.

This scene depicts just how quickly consumer demand for information transparency has become important to food companies’ ability to compete. Millennials, most of whom are digital natives accustomed to having robust information readily available at their fingertips, carefully consider where food comes from, nutritional value, who prepared it, and how it’s served. For many, these factors are equally important as taste or price.

As a result, industry leaders are proactively collaborating with operators, and other supply chain partners, to ensure product information transparency can be a key driver of consumer purchase decisions. Since 2009, distributors, manufacturers, operators, solution providers, and industry assocations have worked together through the Foodservice GS1 U.S. Standards Initiative — an industry effort seeking to drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain, improve product information, and enhance food traceability. They collaborate to solve challenges associated with the collection and transmission of data to enable better sales opportunities and operational efficiency.