IGD 2014 CONVENTION

Prepare for food industry shake-ups, says IGD expert

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food firms can prepare for ‘unpredictable’ market shake-ups if they make themselves more outwardly-focused and more open to change, according to IGD chief economist James Walton.

In this exclusive video, Walton tells FoodManufacture.co.uk much of the recent turmoil shaking the foundations of the grocery industry could have been predicted with a bit of thought.

“As managers it’s very easy to say that any misfortune was a ‘black swan’, because no one will blame you for failing to predict what is unpredictable,”​ Walton said, borrowing from the terminology of former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, referring to unpredictable events.

Recent misfortunes

“But in fact, a lot of our recent misfortunes affecting the UK as a whole and food and drink specifically haven’t been black swans at all. They have actually been what I call grey swans. They were unpredicted, but they were not unpredictable, even with the information that we had at the time.”

Watch this video for Walton’s examples of future ‘grey swans’ facing the food industry and how he believes the food industry should react.

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