The Future of Consumption
Wintersemester 2020 - Nestlé
Strategic implications and recommendation for the project partner Nestlé were developed by using the scenario planning method. In-depth research on the company itself, the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Sector (FMCG), Nestlé’s main competitors and overall current and future global trends were just a starting point of the process. Numerous expert interviews and scenario planning workshops helped with defining the final and most relevant trends. After choosing the key factors, the definition of four different scenarios was possible. Every scenario is different and each of them has immense impact on Nestlé. The company would have to adjust its budget, marketing or distribution channels in order to be a major player on the market. At this point, it is important to highlight that there is no “total scenario”, meaning that none of the scenarios is expected to emerge fully in the future. However, it is highly possible that some elements of the defined scenarios will occur effectively in 2030. Defined recommendations should be seen as measures and steps that Nestlé shall implement as a reaction to already defined future developments. An established set of Early Warning Indicators helps Nestlé to recognize that scenarios – or more precisely – their elements are already happening.
The aim of this project was to define future strategies and recommendations for the project partner Nestlé. Scenario planning was chosen as a suitable method that led to definition of the above-mentioned recommendations.
In order to define possible scenarios, trend research and subsequent analysis were necessary. Research was based on in-depth literature review, interviews with experts from different educational and professional backgrounds (e.g. finance, legal, business, ecology) as well as participation in the scenario planning workshops. When defining relevant trends, the broad, macroeconomic perspective was implemented as first in order to get a general overview of the trends that might influence the future in the next 10 years. In the next steps, trends were narrowed down to the most important ones and interdependencies between them were analysed. The causal loop diagram and impact-predictability matrix were important tools that facilitated the trend analysis process. Reaction of governments on climate change and protection of the individual’s privacy online were defined as key drivers that build a framework for the development of four scenarios. Based on those scenarios, it was possible do define implications and strategic recommendations for the project partner.
The scenario planning method is a suitable approach used to define future-oriented strategic recommendations for companies. Single steps of the scenario planning process serve as milestones in defining relevant trends, scenarios as well as recommendations. Strategic implications vary strongly, depending on the scenario for which they were developed and a single strategy, understood as a set of universal recommendations, cannot be given to Nestlé. The company shall follow current and future developments on the market and an established set of Early Warning Indicators helps to recognise that some elements of the already defined scenarios are happening. Consequently, Nestlé might react quickly to coming changes and gain a competitive advantage on the market.
Nestlé Austria GmbH
Wiedner Gürtel 9
1100 Vienna, Austria
Melchior de Saint-Quentin