PA’s Erik Fagerlid, grocery and supply chain expert, has been quoted in an article about Norwegian food suppliers’ reluctance to develop new products – as they are afraid the supermarkets will copy their ideas.
In the article, Erik explains that Norwegian suppliers appear to be naïve and do not ensure they get the rights to the products they create. According to Erik, in the end this affects the consumers – as nine out of every ten products launched are an old product in new packaging, or with minor adjustments.
“Today the suppliers are afraid of being copied by the trade. But when the suppliers do not show openness about their plans, they lose the possibility of getting critical feedback from the chain before the products are finished and ready to be placed in the shelves. This is problematic” says Erik.
The article references recent research by PA, which shows that Norwegian food suppliers are less successful in supermarkets than their foreign competitors. It goes on to explain that 13 per cent of the large Norwegian suppliers’ turnover comes from new products. In comparison the international companies in Norway, like Unilever and Nestlé, get 25 per cent of their turnover from the introduction of new products.
Commenting on the reasons for this, Erik explains the foreign companies’ success is because they introduce products in a way they see is working in other countries. Norway is still so small and different that they choose what they know is working. Therefore the foreign companies miss less than Norwegian companies.