Opinion and comment from Food and Drink leaders.
Peter Durose is Managing Director of Coregeo. Coregeo is the UK’s leading specialist in intellectual property (IP), brand management and trade and consumer marketing services for the fresh produce industry. Since 1999 Coregeo has been driving the commercialisation of some of the UK’s best-known branded fruit and vegetables, including Pink Lady® and Tenderstem®.
One Business success for Coregeo
- The business had to quickly review our plans across all brands with Covid19 restrictions and limitations. This suddenly meant some of our planned activity had to be cancelled or was just not possible to implement so the team tailored our messaging and content across all media so that it was supporting customers. We did also identify a specific opportunity to run TV advertising for the very first time and after a quick but thorough analysis it was agreed that we would invest in the Pink Lady® brand on TV for the first time with fantastic results that were carried forward for the rest of the year.
Two Challenges for the Sector
- Covid19 has had a substantial change in the way that we live our lives, socialising, working and shopping. As we are now in the twelfth month of that change and have some more to go, it is really important that we understand what those changes are, whether they are permanent and what that means for how we communicate with our customers. It might be an old Tesco rote that we have to understand our customers, but it has never been truer than now. The challenge to understand them during these exceptional circumstances and how we will all change or what we do in the coming months is key to success.
- Whether you are a Brexiteer or remainer doesn’t matter, however, we still have a very real challenge on understanding the full impact of the UK leaving the EU on the 31st December 2020. This includes understanding the potential impact of the deal, how that changes our cost structure in supplying the market, whether it changes our customers’ attitudes to our products and brands along with how the retailers will respond to all of these elements. It is not whether this is right or wrong anymore, it is the challenge of how well we manage our businesses through this period which is key.
Three Forecasts for the Sector
- Online will become an ever-increasing element of our activity, whether that is in how we communicate with our customers directly, the way we promote our products or how our customers buy them. There are major changes afoot including the growing influence of discounters, an increasing impact of online retailers on the Grocery sector and technological advancement on how we shop. Retail has always been about change but we may be about to see a restructure of the high street.
- I don’t like saying this but whilst we are all looking to the vaccines as a final solution in the fight against Covid19, there may well be a reality that says we will not see the back of this pandemic for some time. We still need to understand many different elements such as the impact that mutations have on the viability of vaccines and the length of protection that vaccines provide us. These may all have an impact on the way in which we do business and relate to our customers. We may have come a long way since the Spanish Flu but we might well be foolish to think it is about to be all over and we can return to normal ways of doing business.
- Growers and specifically British growers might, just might, be about to see a period where their importance within the supply chain starts to become more greatly recognised especially if they are able to respond to some of these changes within the sector. Brands are becoming increasingly important to customers especially in terms of the trust in those brands which might create a new and exciting opportunity for UK farming businesses.
Finally my last forecast, I know there are only supposed to be three, is that at least one of these forecasts is wrong!