This week on our From the Cold Corner podcast, I spoke with Josh Knott, president of the Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA) and Knott's Fine Foods in Paris, Tennessee. We discussed worker safety, supply chain slowdowns due to COVID-19 precautions, and how panic buying and fear of perceived food shortages by consumers can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The adage, "shoot for the moon and you'll still land among the stars" comes to mind when assessing frozen food sales since early March. The rocket launch of consumer stockpiling created astronomical sales figures that were impossible to sustain, but now that buying has leveled off, the year-over-year numbers look like they'll be hovering around +30% over 2019 sales for weeks to come, if not the rest of 2020, according to new data from the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and 210 Analytics. That means the meteoric sales arc created by panic buying in March has a long way to go before it comes down to normal levels.
This week on our From the Cold Corner podcast, we sit down with Tom Swovick, market development manager for proteins at Dematic, to discuss the future of cold storage and logistics through the lens of automation and AGVs, as well as what solutions might be out there to help ease the strain on the cold foods chain from COVID-19 disruptions. Swovick also details Dematic’s virtual tradeshow plans while industry conventions are shut down--a business pivot becoming more common to connect with clients as shelter-in-place continues.
New numbers from NCSolutions for the week ending April 18 support the trend that many cold foods are still selling strong, focusing on frozen food categories in particular. Week-over-week numbers showed a decline in most frozen categories, which NCSolutions attributes to slower Easter weekend shopping when many stores were closed for the holiday.
The latest data from research firm IRI (Information Resources Inc.) and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) for the week ending April 5, shows frozen and refrigerated food sales increasing slightly compared to the week ending March 29. Frozen food purchases rose to +34.7%, compared to the previous week's 31.3%. Dairy showed a higher jump at +29.9% compared to the previous week's +20.9%. The numbers remain significantly elevated compared to last year's sales, due to a spike in purchasing related to COVID-19 stockpiling in early March.
The latest data from research firm IRI (Information Resources Inc.) and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) shows frozen and refrigerated food sales leveling off after a sharp sales spike in March due to COVID-19 stockpiling by consumers.
Week-over-week statistics from Clear Seas Research show food and beverage manufacturers have shifted their attention from future business goals to immediate employee welfare and current economic factors impacting their operations. Research conducted in late March showed 73% of those polled were concerned about achieving their business goals the next six months. Research conducted in early April saw that number drop to 53%.
On our newest From the Cold Corner podcast, I talked with Roberto Peregrina from Hiperbaric about the latest trends in High Pressure Processing (HPP) and what the evolution of HPP might look like in the future. We also discussed COVID-19’s impact on Hiperbaric’s business, and what the company is doing instead of tradeshows to connect with F&B processors while travel is shut down, which is a pivot many businesses have to make today.
This week on our From the Cold Corner podcast, I interviewed Lowell Randel, VP of government and legal affairs at the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) for the very latest developments regarding COVID-19's impact on the cold food supply chain.
The May 2020 issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine highlights sustainable solutions for companies along the cold chain, plus coronavirus and food safety coverage, lift truck technology, pizza innovations, new dairy and dairy-alternative products, plus much more—just click the stories below to start reading.