As the UK food and beverage industry continues to experience supply chain disruption and an increasing shift towards digitisation, Europe’s first intelligent B2B online marketplace, ShelfNow, shares insight into how the sector must evolve through the increased use of technology and data insights.
With the EU food and beverage wholesale sector recently experiencing a turnover of over €100bn, ShelfNow holds a unique position in the market as its platform transitions the wholesale experience to be an online, data-driven process that is more efficient for producers and buyers in terms of affordability, logistics and transparency.
With many industries now using data to help tailor and target their sales focus, the food and beverage wholesale sector is no exception. Consisting of a team of experts in FoodTech, Data Science and Software Engineering, ShelfNow is leading the way in transitioning this area of commerce for the FoodTech age. By tracking sales, trends, supply and demand of particular products, ShelfNow’s technology helps to make sales more targeted for producers and buyers alike.
The ShelfNow model is unique in allowing for 1-2-1 trading activity in a market that is dominated by traditional e-commerce websites and paper catalog wholesale. As well as making use of data-driven insights, ShelfNow has plans to implement machine learning from 2022 which will help to power product recommendations for buyers, as well as the overall user experience. The platform is also aiming to integrate buyer procurement software in the near future.
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45% of government officials recommend an increase in local food trading to help facilitate sustainable diets and lower the impact of farming on our environment. Trading with the EU post-Brexit has become a logistical nightmare for the food and beverage industry. ShelfNow is dedicated to working with international producers and continues to focus on trading with over 10 EU countries.
Partner brands include Agricola Maraviglia – a Tuscan Olive Oil producer committed to producing olive oil in a more sustainable way. With many UK and EU brands now facing an increased volume of paperwork and additional costs to trade with one another, ShelfNow assists brands in trading as efficiently as possible by handling all import and domestic logistics during the trading process to ensure efficient producer and buyer relationships.
ShelfNow’s expanding number of partners is carefully selected based on a number of sustainable and ethical factors. In particular, ShelfNow looks for artisan, high-quality products which use local produce, an authentic brand story and unique innovation in product, design and packaging. With entirely plastic-free packaging and local sourcing, Sweet Lounge is a vegan, gluten-free, plant-based confectionery brand that is available on the ShelfNow platform.
In addition, ShelfNow prioritises working with brands that contribute to the reduction of food waste and the promotion of sustainability. For example, Yorkshire Pasta Company has developed a 5kg bag for zero waste stores and all pasta is packaged in paper bags.
Interestingly, ShelfNow’s data indicates that London based producers are more sustainable with 32% of London based producers using plastic free packaging vs 26% of producers outside London. In addition, 65% of London based producers use recyclable packaging vs 55% of producers outside London.
Philip Linardos, co-founder and CEO of ShelfNow, said:
“Here at ShelfNow, we are committed to using our data insights and technology to shape the business and how we operate in the years to come. In a post-Brexit trading landscape, we are also determined to help small and medium-sized businesses tackle the new logistics changes that producers and buyers face, as well as committing to sustainability that helps to facilitate eco-friendly trading.”
“Although we prioritise quality and take no shortcuts in the evolution of our data insights, we maintain affordable prices as we look to expand further across Europe and help to contribute to a more efficient, sustainable way of trading for international businesses.”