Mapping the food-industry V.1 ~ Sounds + Food 'n' Retail

Mapping the food-industry V.1

I'm currently working on a wrap-up of what I wrote about in months 3-6. It's usually a monthly tradition (see months 1 & 2), but this one is extra long and taking me some time. Apologies for the silence this has been causing this week.

One of the things, I'm working on is a work in progress, a map of the food-industry. Step 1 is to identify the individual segments, which, I should note, are probably transferable to a great number of industries. Future iterations will include identifying specific companies in each segment, as well as sub-segments, and specific segment-pains also.
mapping the food industry - basic.graffle-2.jpg

  • Segment 1 - the production of raw materials: This can involve anything from growing coffee-beans, to potatoes, to rubber and trees (later used for packaging). Some vertical integration with segment 2 and perhaps 3.

  • Segment 2 - the production of consumer-goods: The activities here involve sourcing raw materials and producing them into goods, ready for retail. From my understanding, there are a number of super-producers (Unilever, P&G, etc.) and more specialised ones. Some vertical integration with other segments, plenty of horizontal integration also.

  • Segment 3 - retail: A diversified segment, consisting of super-markets, specialised stores, and hybrids (which combine retail with other services like music, etc.). Some vertical integration occurring, with e.g. private labels, and large franchises like McDonalds & Starbucks that communicate directly with segment 1.

  • Segment 4 - consumers: too diversified for me to summarise at this stage. What I do note is that the reach of customers is increasing up the value chain: organics, enviromentalism, etc. are all signs of this.

  • Sub-segments - marketing & logistics: It has been my observation that the degree that these are externalised depends on the resources available within and the complexities of the tasks. What I also noticed is that it's the supplier, not the buyer, that takes care of these things. And finally, that it's segment 2 that is usually responsible for marketing their products to segment 4, the consumers. I expect that something similar is or will be occurring from segment 1 to segment 4, to address concerns consumers may be having about production-methods.

  • Meta-segment A - regulation: It has been my observation from my thesis that the government is a factor at pretty much every stage of the process of bringing a product to the market. It is a tool both for consumers, for larger interest-groups, and for businesses to stimulate change within industries, with all the consequences that has. Again, regulations pertaining to organic & green production-methods, as well as human rights and memberships of trade-unions are just a few of many factors to consider here.

  • Meta-segment B - optimisation: This is where I would place consultancies, which are super-specialists aimed at improving processes in and between organisations, but also aiming at customers who are having more and more information at their disposal, more cash, and more complex needs.
That's all for now. Please let me know if I missed anything or if you disagree with something. I am here to learn!

I'm hoping to finish up my wrap-up by this weekend and that it will be business as usual next week.


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