How COVID-19 is impacting the food and beverage supply chain

Permission granted by American Bakers Association

Note from the editor

As the pandemic impacts virtually every aspect of the food and beverage space, the industry's supply chain has had to adjust to new pressures.

From ingredient shortages to slowdowns in shipping fresh products, many manufacturers, retailers and suppliers were forced to get creative and adapt their processes to the challenges and continuously evolving changes of the pandemic. 

Some of the biggest CPG companies, like Coca-Cola and Mondelez, are reducing the complexity of their supply chains to better operate in these volatile market conditions. Others, like Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Cargill, have shifted more of their production away from foodservice to help with the demand on retail. 

Over the past few months, smaller companies have also emerged with new opportunities to grow as the giants face challenges. Tillamook started contingency and inventory planning in January. Atlantic Natural Foods implemented greater sanitation guidelines and more overtime, and many small meat producers are offering a transparent view of their operations as meat giants struggle to keep workers from getting sick. 

As companies big and small work to make changes and get through brand new challenges, this report details multiple aspects of the food and beverage supply chain amid COVID-19: 

  • From visibility software to pallet picks: How Tillamook planned inventory as demand soared
  • Coca-Cola, Mondelez trim SKUs as CPGs tackle pandemic stresses
  • Coronavirus forces manufacturers to shift more production to retail
  • As meat giants face scrutiny, small and niche producers capitalize
  • Ahead of peak season, berry supplier Driscoll's worries market 'just is not there' 
  • As coronavirus spread through Asia, Atlantic Natural Foods prepared for U.S. impact
  • How coronavirus has impacted ingredient sourcing
  • 4 ingredients facing shortages amid the pandemic
  • Coronavirus-related supply chain concerns push more Olam customers to source domestically
  • Food manufacturing will stay healthy during coronavirus, trade groups say

This trendline captures just a few of the many issues and moving pieces impacting the supply chain in the food and beverage space during the pandemic. We hope you enjoy this deep dive into the current trends.

Lillianna Byington Reporter

From visibility software to pallet picks: How Tillamook planned inventory as demand soared

The dairy's next challenge is long-range inventory planning, especially since a key ingredient in many cheeses is time.

• Published Aug. 14, 2020

Coca-Cola, Mondelez trim SKUs as CPGs tackle pandemic stresses

Supply chains are reducing complexity to better operate in volatile market conditions.

• Published June 2, 2020

Coronavirus forces manufacturers to shift more production to retail

As grocery demands surge, companies like Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Cargill are changing their operations, from longer hours to adjusting output away from foodservice.

• Published March 26, 2020

As meat giants face scrutiny, small and niche producers capitalize

Major meat companies have closed plants and warned of shortages during the pandemic, while local ones have offered a more transparent view of operations and seen business boom.

• Published June 8, 2020

Ahead of peak season, berry supplier Driscoll's worries market 'just is not there'

The coronavirus outbreak has cut sales of the California company's produce by 20% as foodservice establishments close and retailers struggle to get its products through their supply chains.

• Published May 14, 2020

As coronavirus spread through Asia, Atlantic Natural Foods prepared for US impact

With a facility in Thailand, the plant-based shelf-stable company had foresight about how the pandemic could sweep across the world and affect the food industry.

• Published April 7, 2020

How coronavirus has impacted ingredient sourcing

Brandon Hernandez of Whole Brain Consulting says many manufacturers are pivoting to different countries, growers and regions to find what they need as the pandemic disrupts business across the globe.

• Published May 28, 2020

4 ingredients facing shortages amid the pandemic

From mushrooms and garlic to carbon dioxide and yeast, coronavirus has led to supply concerns across the food and beverage industry around the world.

• Published June 18, 2020

Food manufacturing will stay healthy during coronavirus, trade groups say

Leaders of the Consumer Brands Association and the American Bakers Association told Food Dive their members are rising to the challenge and see no shortages of the basics.

• Published March 24, 2020

Coronavirus-related supply chain concerns push more Olam customers to source domestically

The CEO of Spices told Food Dive that orders in March for onion, garlic and chilies grown in the U.S. were up 20% from the previous year.

• Published April 2, 2020