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.
In making packaging decisions for the cold chain, companies need solutions that will help them achieve efficiencies in handling across systems while ensuring their product is moved quickly and without damage. Reusable plastic packaging solutions can help ensure cold goods make it to the refrigerator or freezer safely, while delivering the seamless handling experience the cold chain requires.
Supply chains across all industries are undergoing technological transformation to become more efficient, increase visibility, and improve transactions between trading partners and consumers. Product shortages and delays across multiple product categories during the COVID-19 pandemic made headlines, highlighting the impact of supply chains on people’s lives.
Restaurant operators never had it easy. Long before the pandemic, it was their industry that was notorious for a high failure rate. The estimates vary, but the most commonly quoted number is that in good times, 60% of restaurants fail within their first year, and 80% within five years. That’s a staggering statistic by itself.
Fans of Shark Tank may recognize Kelsey Moreira from her 2019 appearance on the show to gain backing for her edible cookie dough company, Doughp. Even though she didn’t get a deal, Doughp is doing just fine without it. The brand’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) model has been a hit with consumers.
The facilities that produce, package, store, and distribute cold foods were truly essential in helping the supply chain satisfy record demand for those products during 2020, while the paradigm shift created by pandemic shopping habits—particularly e-commerce—is still being felt today. As a result, many design-build firms are busier than ever, as the need for cold storage space, plant expansions, facility renovations, fulfillment centers and distribution hubs has only increased.
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.