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Monday, April 20, 2020

News from the Grocery Supply Chain

Been watching indications in the Grocery and general retail supply chain,  so far, except for might be called illogical hoarding, things are going well.  Suppliers are running manufacturing overtime.

Head of grocery group talks virus impact, shopping habits

NEW YORK (AP) — As Americans stockpile everything from canned soup to toilet paper, food and consumer products makers are scrambling to meet demand.

Companies like Clorox Co. and J.M. Smucker Co. are running their manufacturing plants 24/7 while reducing their product lines so they can get the products into stores faster. They’re also under pressure to protect their workers who’re on the front lines of the coronavirus.

The Associated Press recently interviewed Geoff Freeman, the CEO of the Consumer Brands Association — formerly the Grocery Manufacturers Association — on a range of issues including the current status of supplies, protections for workers and customers’ shift away from organic food to packaged items like mac and cheese. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q. How does the industry’s supply chain brace for a pandemic?

A. I’m not sure that any of us would have been prepared for something we have never seen in our lifetimes, frankly our grandparents didn’t see in their lifetimes. It isn’t much a playbook to dust off as there is a put your head down, rise to the occasion and do everything you can do, and this industry has done just that.

Q. Are you seeing consumers’ stockpiling leveling off a bit?

A. We’re seeing things settle into a new normal. The new normal isn’t back to 100%. There isn’t that much happening in the food service environment, the restaurant environment and the eating-away-from-home environment. So the industry is having to produce more for people to eat within their own homes. They’re doing that by increasing the productivity of their lines. They’re also taking food service products or lines that were focused on food service and reorienting them more to in-home consumption. That’s true on both the food side and consumer packaged goods.  .... "

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