Thinking digital: a food industry case study

Is your company thinking digital? Not just talking digital, but truly thinking digital?

A new report by New York-based digital transformation specialists Mumford Sole Partners concludes that becoming digital involves “adopting a new understanding of what a company can and should be, and a new vantage point from which to generate strategy: seeing the company as a node in a market that is a complex ecosystem.”

The researchers say digital companies have a different concept of what it means to be a company.

They point to salad restaurant company Sweetgreen, which not only operates a chain of restaurants, but also delivers salad lunches to corporate offices. The company definitely thinks digital; it uses technology to continually “expand the set of possibilities that it is pursuing to deliver on its mission.”

For example, Sweetgreen partners with food blockchain company to provide supply chain traceability and optimisation. also tracks taste elements of the produce that it tags (such as sugar and salt content) as well as the micronutrients in the soil. As this data accumulates it will allow farmers to have more insight into and control over growing the tastiest produce.

On the customer side, Sweetgreen’s food ordering app builds a personalised menu for each customer, taking into account dietary restrictions and preferences, and offers convenience. More than half of all food orders are now made via the app.

Digitization changes assumptions that guide key strategic decisions – decisions about how best to go to market (alone or with partners), and how to design and execute on business models. It also challenges existing assumptions around how best to pursue partnerships; in dynamic digital markets, looser couplings that have the freedom to naturally grow or unwind will confer more mutual benefit. In short, companies that want to successfully compete in digital markets will adopt an ecosystem-driven approach. To become digital, they will first think digital.

Read the full whitepaper

Top photo courtesy Sweetgreen.


Innovation, Research, White Papers



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