Arla Foods and Fonterra are among the companies best positioned to take advantage of future e-commerce disruption in the food manufacturing industry, according to data and analytics group GlobalData.
According to analysis set out by GlobalData, Just Food’s parent, Arla, Fonterra and China Mengniu Dairy Co. are the companies best positioned to benefit from investments in e-commerce. All of them recorded scores of five out of five in GlobalData’s Confectionery and Snacks and Dairy and Dairy Alternatives Thematic Scorecards.
The assessment comes from GlobalData’s Thematic Research ecosystem, which ranks companies on a scale of one to five based on their likelihood to tackle challenges like e-commerce and emerge as long-term winners of the food manufacturing sector.
“Arla experienced great success and rapid growth through e-commerce during the pandemic, helping it to become the dairy market leader for e-commerce in Europe,” GlobalData consumer industry analyst Alice Popple says. “Online sales growth doubled in many key markets during 2020 and their strategy now focuses on retaining these consumers when purchasing groceries online.”
Popple also pointed to recent initiatives at Fonterra, the New Zealand dairy giant. “Fonterra has launched a new online platform, which aims to make it easier for ingredients consumers to purchase dairy products through convenience, transparency and flexibility. The new platform is global and hopes to revolutionize the B2B dairy industry, giving consumers a more personalised e-commerce experience that transfers to offline.”
She added: “Quick commerce is also a vital part of Fonterra’s e-commerce strategy, as they focus on providing consumers with dairy essentials in less than 60 minutes. Quick commerce is a popular and trending concept for consumers globally, with high demand for ease and convenience. They have collaborated with two major q-commerce giants in Asia to achieve this. Fonterra also utilises e-commerce from a social responsibility standpoint to generate exposure for farmers and be transparent with their supply chain.”
The table below shows how GlobalData analysts scored the biggest companies in the food manufacturing industry on their e-commerce performance, as well as the number of new e-commerce jobs, deals and patents from the companies since April 2021.
The final column in the table represents the overall score given to a company when it comes to its current e-commerce position relative to its peers. A score of five indicates a business is a dominant player in this space, while companies that score less than three are vulnerable to being left behind. These can be read fairly straightforwardly.
Asked why some companies were marked as scoring five out of five, with others achieving a score of four, Popple said: “The scale is relative, so those that are a five are going above and beyond the other companies. Nestlé is still strong in e-commerce, but Arla and Fonterra have done more in recent months to provide both short- and long-term benefits. It is in Nestlé’s plan to improve e-commerce – once this has been achieved it will be a five.”
The other data points in the table are more nuanced, showcasing recent e-commerce investments across a range of areas over the past year. These metrics, where available, give an indication of whether e-commerce is at the top of executives’ minds now, GlobalData says.
It adds that high numbers in these fields are just as likely to represent attempts to catch up as they are genuine strengths in e-commerce. For example, a high number of deals could either indicate that a company is dominating the market, or that it is using mergers and acquisitions to fill in gaps in its offering.
This article is based on GlobalData research figures as of 29 April 2022. For more up-to-date figures, check the GlobalData website.