The chief sustainability officer of The Home Depot, Ron Jarvis, said that there are no environmentally friendly companies, and everything we do has an environmental impact with risks across the board, whether by carbon emissions, chemical exposure, or deforestation.
From avocados and cream cheese to milk, pasta, and canned goods, demand for certain food goods continue to skyrocket, due in part to labor shortages resulting from the pandemic, along with rising energy costs, shipping constraints, and natural disasters. The New York Times reported that a crucial portion of the world’s wheat, corn, and barley is trapped in Russia and Ukraine because of the war, along with a sizable portion of the world’s fertilizers currently held in Russia and Belarus.
In 2020, the U.S. supply chain experienced significant disruption, particularly during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact was sizable, with shortages of paper goods, food items such as meat, and certain cleaning supplies and other essentials. At the same time, national and state-wide lockdown mandates led to the temporary (and in some unfortunate cases – permanent) shuttering of many physical-location retailers. Virus fears caused shoppers to head online to order food, medicine, and other goods, leading to an unprecedented boom to eCommerce.
In today’s connected world, consumers are more knowledgeable about what they’re consuming and buying on a daily basis. Consumers need to trust that the food they’re buying is safe to consume, and it’s the responsibility of food suppliers to protect the public against foodborne illnesses and follow FDA regulations. Despite efforts to improve food safety, foodborne illnesses and recalls are still a problem for many food and beverage suppliers. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an extra strain on food industry workers to take the necessary precautions and ensure food safety continues to be a top priority.
As tariffs continue to increase, companies needs to look inward to optimize business processes and free up resources to focus on growing the business. Investing in an ERP solution is the perfect first step in making this change.
Technology advances in retail are an important contributing factor to a successful busy season. Retailers will also likely have to pivot their strategies to strengthen customer relationships and build brand loyalty through an online presence. Technologies such as predictive analytics and AI are helping companies collect and store useful data while predicting consumer habits, allowing brands to better connect with their consumers.