US Foods has earned our Foodservice Distributor of the Year Award not by going about its business as usual during perhaps the most un-usual time for foodservice in decades, but by transforming itself into a multi-faceted solutions source for its 300,000 clients to access anytime. The company’s longtime tagline is “We Help You Make It”, and that took on a whole new meaning in 2020.
At this time last year, we at Refrigerated & Frozen Foods decided to put our annual Foodservice Distributor of the Year Award on hold. The COVID-19 pandemic precipitated unprecedented shutdowns in foodservice—restaurants, hotels, schools, caterers, stadiums, and other volume venues—leaving behind thousands of shuttered businesses. To put it lightly, there was very little to celebrate in foodservice last year.
Tyson Foods announced it would strengthen the benefits it offers its fully vaccinated U.S. frontline team members. Effective January 1, 2022, fully vaccinated team members can begin earning up to 20 hours of paid sick leave per year. New hires will also receive one week of vacation after six months of employment.
Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) has announced it raised wages for almost 13,500 hourly employee-partners which totals more than $33 million investment in salaries. Part of this investment is the company making the extra $1 per hour in COVID appreciation pay permanent for the hourly retail and logistics employee-partners along with raising the minimum pay for several positions in retail.
In an effort to curtail vaccine hesitancy and promote education across the country, Unilever delivered truckloads of free ice cream to vaccination sites in NYC, LA, St. Louis, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix. Unilever representatives handed out treats to to newly vaccinated people, vaccine site workers, and volunteers.
As demand for cold foods soared in 2020, so did the hours forklifts were used to load and unload goods. We look at what lift truck technology will help operators continue meeting the challenges of an accelerated cold chain.
On our latest Cold Corner Podcast, Lauren Edmonds, newly elected president of the Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA) joins Editor-in-Chief Michael Costa to discuss the RFA’s plans for the coming year, plus how the pandemic is still affecting the refrigerated foods industry through price hikes and shortages on ingredients, a shrinking labor pool, and more. They also discuss Edmonds’ company, St. Clair Foods, and their move to an automated production facility.
In the past year, all grocery sales spiked in volume as consumers avoided indoor dining at restaurants. While the sometimes irrational demand for toilet paper received wide publicity, demand for frozen food also soared.
Feed the Children, Americold and Tyson Foods are aligning to rapidly deliver more than 500,000 meals to communities across the U.S. to combat the staggering food insecurity children and families are experiencing due to COVID-19. This unprecedented partnership has produced an innovative distribution model allowing the three organizations to revamp the supply chain and distribute meals more quickly throughout the year to those who need support.