AWS for Industries
CPG Partner Conversations: Learn How CPG Leaders can use Snowflake’s Retail Data Cloud to Make Informed Decisions in an Unpredictable Marketplace
The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented disruption to businesses and global markets. Although most of the world appears to be past the uncertainty and turbulence of the pandemic, companies, especially in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, continue to deal with major challenges, such as inflation pressure and declining demand. At the same time, consumer buying patterns and expectations that shifted during the pandemic have become the norm. Now more than ever, CPG leaders must think strategically with an eye toward innovation and agility to address the continued market volatility and shifting consumer preferences. To gain insight and inspiration, we’ve embarked on a series of conversations with executives from AWS industry expert partners to showcase their leadership and expertise in challenging times.
In the latest installment of our CPG Partner Conversations blog series, we talked to Rosemary Hua, Global Head of Retail & CPG GTM at Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, which empowers retailers, manufacturers, distributors, CPG vendors, and industry technology providers, to leverage their own data, access new data, and seamlessly collaborate across the retail industry. In this blog, Rosemary shares her views on the importance of data analytics to uncover insights to make informed, data-driven decisions.
AWS: Help our readers understand your vantage point. What’s the space you focus on, and with what type of CPG executives does Snowflake interact?
Rosemary Hua: At Snowflake, we are a platform-of-choice for many top CPG companies as the source of truth for data across business lines. My team interacts with executives who leverage data and analytics to drive decisions, such as chief digital officers, chief data officers, as well as VPs of supply chain, marketing, and product innovation. On our platform, their teams can seamlessly integrate external partners and other third-party datasets to gather insightful analytics.
AWS: CPG companies have been managing through unprecedented disruption. What have been the biggest challenges for your customers?
Rosemary Hua: More recently beyond the pandemic, the CPG industry has been challenged with a global supply chain crisis and inflation rates we haven’t seen in decades. Many companies had been using historical analysis to predict demand, and they realized that their historical internal data was no longer enough to predict demand spikes driven by current, larger macroeconomic trends. In addition, CPG companies have also been faced with new privacy compliance and governance policies, making it more difficult to identify and serve up personalized advertisements to consumers. Lastly, consumers have newfound expectations around sustainability, and CPGs need to rise to meet those expectations.
AWS: How do you see CPG companies adjusting their current operating environments to changing market dynamics and consumer expectations?
Rosemary Hua: To digitally transform to manage these and other challenges, CPG companies need external data and technology partnerships. On the unprecedented macroeconomic issues, such as astronomical global fuel prices and inflation rates, CPGs have been using the Snowflake Data Marketplace to bring in third-party data to gain insights about early indicators that can impact their business. Also, regarding personal identifiable information (PII) consumer privacy challenges, CPG companies are using Snowflake’s data clean room capabilities to query information about their customers without having to move or expose PII between partners. Lastly on sustainability, Snowflake has a network of “Powered by Snowflake” partners such as Nulogy, which helps our CPG customers source and discover contract manufacturers who can meet sustainable packaging goals.
AWS: The CPG industry is incredibly resilient. As you look toward the new normal, what role do technology and the cloud play for CPGs? How do you see technology enhancing the way CPGs make, move, or market their products?
Rosemary Hua: We see technology as an imperative for CPG brands that need real-time signals about market demand to drive product innovation. In some cases, we’re even seeing CPG customers use Snowflake’s Data Marketplace to bring in social media sentiment data around specific items, like “oat milk” vs. “almond milk,” by analyzing certain keywords across social media channels. CPGs need to adopt these new, innovative ways to use data to predict consumer demand to meet and exceed consumer expectations.
AWS: With the current CPG industry disruption, how is your company innovating to respond to changes?
Rosemary Hua: We are the underlying platform that CPGs can use to make innovative business decisions. Specifically, our data sharing functionalities allow CPGs to bring in third-party datasets in just a few clicks—an initiative that previously took months or quarters to build APIs now only takes a couple days. The speed at which CPG companies can bring in external datasets is a technical feature that translates into real business value.
AWS: There is much talk about a “new normal” going forward. What does this “new normal” look like to you, and how do you think the CPG industry will look three years from now?
Rosemary Hua: In the new normal, I anticipate heightened consumer awareness around COVID on an ongoing basis. In addition, ecommerce and digital shopping channels are now a “must-have.” We predicted years ago that, eventually, an omnichannel presence would be the future. However, the “new” pieces are:
- A direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel—Many CPGs added this sales channel during the pandemic. This shift occurred because brick-and-mortar retail partners weren’t an option due to lockdowns or permanent store closures. I believe the new DTC line of business for CPGs is here to stay.
- Omnichannel acceleration—This shift to omnichannel experiences happened much faster than it would have because of the global pandemic. I like to say, “COVID-19 was the most effective chief digital officer.”
AWS: What makes you excited for the future of CPG?
Rosemary Hua: I’m particularly excited about the new imperative for CPGs to build sustainable products and packaging. This is a hot topic that has been around for a while, but we are seeing an additional boost from Gen Z shoppers who are more environmentally conscious than previous generations. I’m also excited to see how CPGs will use data and analytics to make innovative decisions to meet consumers where they shop and spend their time.
AWS: Thanks for chatting with us, Rosemary. We appreciate your insights and expertise.
We hope you enjoy our blog series. If you have questions for Rosemary, Snowflake, or AWS, leave a comment on this blog. To learn more about Snowflake, get in touch and read more about their Retail Data Cloud.
To learn more about how Snowflake can help you explore some of the most innovative and exciting ways retail and CPG brands are already unlocking the value of data to forge ahead in an era of uncertainty, read their latest ebook, “Retail Success Guide: 10 Ways Retail and CPG Drive Business Value with the Data Cloud.”
And as always, if you want to discuss your data analytics needs and how Snowflake can help your CPG business, AWS is here to help. Contact your account team today to get started.
AWS Partner Spotlight
Snowflake enables every organization to mobilize their data with Snowflake’s Data Cloud. Customers use the Data Cloud to unite siloed data, discover and securely share data, and execute diverse analytic workloads. Wherever data or users live, Snowflake delivers a single data experience that spans multiple clouds and geographies. Thousands of customers across many industries, including 506 of the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 (G2K) as of April 30, 2022, use Snowflake Data Cloud to power their businesses. The Snowflake Retail Data Cloud enables retailers and manufacturers to access, govern and share data seamlessly, to deliver more personalized customer experiences, optimize supply chains, and make data-driven merchandising decisions. Learn more at snowflake.com.
The Snowflake Retail Data Cloud enables retailers and manufacturers to access, govern and share data seamlessly, to deliver more personalized customer experiences, optimize supply chains, and make data-driven merchandising decisions.