COVID-19 Coverage for Foodservice Supply Chain


October 22, 2020

Signs Point to Prolonged Trucking Rally, Buckle Up for a Wild Q4

While demand is increasing, capacity is simultaneously decreasing, further elevating rates. Transportation capacity has reached a two-year low, and tender rejection rates are at an all-time high as a result. Although shipment volumes are accelerating, they’re not yet back to pre-pandemic numbers.

October 19, 2020

USDA Analysts Forecast Higher Hog Prices Ahead

A month ago, the USDA estimated market hogs would sell for an average of $37 per 100 pounds during October, November, and December, compared with the current estimate of $51. The trend of higher prices will extend into early 2021 due to a pinch in pork output because fewer hogs will be available. “First-quarter 2021 hog prices are expect to averaged $47 per (100 pounds), almost 11% greater than a year ago.”

October 15, 2020

Ag Prices Keep Rising as Countries Rush to Hoard

A number of factors are adding to a rally in prices for corn, wheat and soybeans, including floods in China and the country’s increased purchases to meet commitments under its phase one trade deal with the U.S. Others are hedging against Coronavirus. “Many may buy now but could buy less into the new year because they won’t need it”.

October 9, 2020

To-go Packaging Remains Problematic

The pandemic has caused shortages of even basic items like paper bags, “It’s still a challenge. We are looking at import partners to fill in the gaps.”  Sales for years were “spotty” for packages with tamper-proof seals until the pandemic arrived but now such bags, including those that are biodegradable, are in high demand.

Wheat Prices are Skyrocketing

COVID, drought and a lot of uncertainty around the world has driven strong demand for basic foodstuffs as well as posing logistical challenges to harvests and snarling supply chains. “There’s no shortage of wheat now, but what happens in the winter and next year?”

October 8. 2020

Preventing Adversarial Supplier Relationships

Given the uncertainty that lies ahead, it is especially important now that companies try to avoid antagonizing the members of their ecosystems. For procurement professionals, the temptation is to use their company’s clout to pressure suppliers to reduce prices. Here’s one unique solution to consider.

October 6, 2020

Cold Storage is Hot Thanks to COVID

Cold storage facilities are having a moment as the food supply chain adapts to the pandemic. Americold is building two cold-storage facilities in Connecticut and Pennsylvania for Ahold Delhaize USA which are due to be completed in 2022.

October 3, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines

Read the latest changes from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois and North Carolina.

October 1, 2020

Meat Supply Chain Starts to Examine Future Risk Management

The meat industry will increasingly look at automation and robotics as well as other ways of reducing the reliance on a labor force, especially since labor was an issue even prior to COVID-19. “Plants will look very different in the coming years”.

September 26, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines

Read the latest changes from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington DC and Wyoming.

September 24, 2020

Volatile Poultry Market is Expected Into 2021

Pressures from foodservice and wholesale customers will be a balancing act for food companies throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021. Broiler prices were 20% lower in August and down 42% year over year for leg quarters.

September 23, 2020

U.S. Pork Exports to China Surge and it’s Not All Pigs Feet

JBS may have shipped 370% more U.S. pork to China this year through Aug. 31 than at the same period in 2017. Chinese demand is seen rising further after Beijing blocked imports from Germany, which has suffered an outbreak of ASF.

September 20, 2020

Meat Was In Short Supply, Now It’s On Sale

Rising production and lower demand are pushing down meat prices. Gordon Food Service Inc., one of the biggest U.S. distributors to restaurants, is selling some beef cuts for half what they cost a few months ago.

September 18, 2020

Pandemic Drives Zero-Based Category Management

As firms search for ways to cut spending and forecast demand in unpredictable times, zero-based category management and zero-based budgeting are back in style. "It’s horribly painful and amazingly impactful” and also means re-thinking vendors.

September 14, 2020

Washington State Potato Losses Top $1B

The pandemic disrupted the supply chain, particularly in the foodservice sector where French fries made from frozen potatoes and russets grown for restaurants for baked potatoes went unsold.

September 13, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.

September 9, 2020

New York City to Resume Indoor Dining at Restaurants

Indoor service can resume September 30th at 25% capacity - after a 5 month shutdown.

September 7, 2020

To-Go Packaging Shortages are Easing, But Operators Still Have to Compromise

Now, chain operators are using whatever packaging they can get their hands on — at any cost — until they can once again access their preferred eco-friendly products.

September 4, 2020

Trucking Companies Report Stronger Freight Demand

With demand up, prices on spot markets are running well ahead of year-ago levels. The upswing in demand and spot-market pricing is raising costs for businesses hustling to replenish goods after coronavirus lockdowns, especially for key transport lanes from West Coast seaports

August 31, 2020

Transaction Declines Now In Single Digits – That’s Good News

Recovery continued at a quicker pace for quick-service chains, with transactions down 8% compared to a year ago. Full-service chains, which were most impacted by mandated dine-in closings that slowly are being lifted,  saw transactions decline 19% year-over-year, a 57-percentage point gain from the steepest decline of 76% in the week ended April 12.

August 28, 2020

Now For a Bit of Good News

The Cheesecake Factory rehires majority of 41,000 furloughed employees. 

August 27, 2020

Hormel Foods Warns of Supply Shortages

The firm said that it would have a hard time meeting high demand for certain products because of supply chain, staffing and production problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 25, 2020

Coronavirus is Causing a Can Shortage

As bars and restaurants closed customers rushed to buy canned drinks and food. "Demand is just kind of crazy".

August 24, 2020

Spot Rates Are High – Will Contract Rates Catch Up?

With spot rates surging in recent months, the consensus should be that contract rates will soon rise. However, weakness in the economy could stall that.

Despite Wild Weather, a Bumper Crop of Corn and Soybeans Expected

It’s not all good news for farmers as the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. in March hobbled domestic demand for grains as restaurants and other institutions nationwide shut down.

August 20, 2020

Beef Exports Slump While Pork Surges

For the first six months of the year, exports of American beef tumbled by 15%, probably due to COVID-19 turmoil, while pork exports soared by 28% compared with 2019 levels, said the USDA.

August 19, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for California, Florida, Illinois and Tennessee.

August 17, 2020

Smaller U.S. Wineries Are Getting Hammered

“When you add both the shutdowns of tasting rooms and closures of restaurants, 44% of sales fell out from underneath the wineries in one night”.

August 16, 2020

Winter is Coming Soon to Outdoor Dining –  So Are Blankets and Plastic Domes

Outdoor dining has been a saving grace for restaurants with the space for it. When the weather no longer cooperates, “we could really be in trouble”.

August 14, 2020

Brinker Expects Delivery and Takeout Sales to Continue Long After Pandemic

“I don’t think that we’ll ever go back to the mix we ran prior,” said Brinker CEO Wyman Roberts, who credited the pandemic for pushing many consumers to try delivery through third-party apps for the first time.

August 13, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

In China, Imported Meat Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Two cities in China have found traces of the new virus in imported frozen food and on food packaging, raising fears that contaminated food shipments might cause new outbreaks.

August 12, 2020

Smithfield Lost $72M in Second Quarter In COVID Related Expenses

The firm spent $350 million to protect workers and the food supply.

August 10, 2020

Will Global Demand Save U.S. Dairy?

The U.S. Dairy Export Council reported that U.S. dairy exports in June were 28% higher in volume and 22% higher in value. “This year’s gains have been all the more impressive in that they were achieved during one of the most disrupted dairy trade environments in history”.

August 8, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates to Georgia, Idaho, illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island.

August 7, 2020

Food Distributors Still Scramble to Survive, Not All Will

The food distribution industry expects to take a $110 billion loss for the year, or about a third of the industry's revenues in 2019. Many have been able to pivot, others were not so lucky.

FDA Announces Voluntary Phase Out of PFAS in Food Packaging

The FDA is opting for a phased market removal because it balances uncertainty about the potential for public health risks with minimizing potential market disruptions during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

August 6, 2020

Food Prices Rose in July

Led by vegetable oils, dairy products and sugar, food prices extended a rebound from the previous month following sharp falls triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

August 5, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with revisions for South Carolina.

August 4, 2020

Despite COVID-19 Tyson’s Outlook is Strong

Even after accounting for pandemic related costs, the business continued to show strength and resilience. “We are investing in operational flexibility to ensure that we can continue to meet customer demand while living in a potentially long-term COVID-19 environment”.

August 3, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with a revision to North Carolina.

August 2, 2020

“New Normal” Emerges for Navigating COVID-19

McDonald’s, Shake Shack, Chipotle reset their businesses with a better understanding of the current stay-at-home lifestyle.

July 30, 2020

Less Competition, More To-Go Business – Big Chains Surviving COVID

“For quick-service restaurants, they don’t want to reopen their dining rooms because this drags down profitability and increases costs.”

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with an update for Virginia.

July 29, 2020

Another Pandemic Supply Chain Disruption - Aluminum Cans

The shift from supplying keg beer that was sold in bars and restaurants prior to March lockdowns, to consumer-direct in cans and bottles during the pandemic, has put a strain on inventory, as has the increasing consumer demand for canned beverages.

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Delaware, Kentucky and Utah

July 27, 2020

Beef Packers’ Margins Reached Historic Levels During COVID-19 Shutdowns

As beef producers struggled, the middle of the meat supply chain had huge margin spikes during the initial peak of the pandemic, demonstrating meat is a complicated business.

July 24, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with revisions for Idaho, Louisiana, Oregon and Washington

July 23, 2020

Pandemic Drives the Future of Foodservice:  Deeper Relationships with Suppliers

Supply chain kinks required companies to learn more about what was happening in the supply chain, with freight and sourcing from suppliers. “Collaboration has reached a new level”.

July 22, 2020

Coca-Cola Sales Plunge, Recovery Uncertain

Second-quarter sales for the beverage giant fell 28% from a year earlier as out-of-home consumption—everything from restaurants to vending machines—plummeted

July 21, 2020

QSR’s Drive Decline in Restaurant Transactions

Statewide restaurant closures and restrictions are having week to week impact on transaction numbers.

Hog Backlog Forecast to Rise 2.5m By Year End

Slow slaughter capacity and backlog is creating “by far, the worst financial disaster ever for American hog farmers”.

Current Facial Covering and Health Screening Requirements By State

The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe team has updated the attached document which tracks state and local face covering and employee health screening requirements. 

July 20, 2020

Conducting Supplier Audits in a Pandemic

Given the heightened risk of supply chain disruption, many companies are challenged with having to take a closer look at their suppliers at a time when travel is difficult.

Pandemic Placing Unprecedented Pressure on Global Ag and Food Supply Chains

Poultry to account for half of world increase in meat consumption. Low economic growth this year could contribute to a further drop in agricultural commodity prices, at least in the short run.

July 17, 2020

Updated Summary of Restaurant Reopening Plans

New information from the Restaurant Law Center includes updates for Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

July 16, 2020

Food Commodities Still at Risk for a Market Shock

The macroeconomic shocks induced by the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to put downward pressure on agricultural commodity prices with the potential for “a historically significant market shock” this year.

July 15, 2020

Updated Summary of Restaurant Reopening Plans

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center includes updates for California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington.

July 14, 2020

Meat Continues to Recover

The beef processing industry is operating at 95% capacity with all facilities back online, pork production is up 10% over LY and chicken prices are improving.

July 13, 2020

California Shuts Down Indoor Dining and All Bars After Virus Surge

The state is now expanding the shutdown of indoor dining at restaurants and wineries to all 58 California counties and the order also includes a complete shutdown of all bars.

Global Coffee Consumption Falls as Café Culture Disappears

Devastation for growers - Citigroup Inc. predicts that futures for arabica beans could drop roughly 10% in the second half of the year to about 90 cents a pound, hovering near break-even costs.

July 10, 2020

COVID-19 Staff Cases Closes Flowers Foods in Georgia

The firm is a large provider of buns and bread for foodservice and retail, product shortfall expected to be covered by other plants it operates for the near term.

Potato Growers Hopeful The Worst is Over

Reopening foodservice outlets are helping but a slow road back to normal is expected. “We will be feeling the COVID impacts for at least two years, if not longer, as the supply chain disruptions even affected our seed potato supply”.

Packaging Shortages Force Restaurants to Get Creative

If and when operators can find the right products, many have come to accept that they will have to pay more for them and wait longer to receive them. “The supply chain has definitely been one of our biggest headaches”.

July 9, 2020

Updated Summary of Restaurant Reopening Plans

New Mexico will be closing indoor dining and Arizona is reducing indoor capacity to 50%. Read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center.

Covid Throws Meatpacking to the Future, Automation Ready to Roll

The pandemic is speeding the shift from human meat cutters to robotic butchers. Automation “is something we think is going to be revolutionary for our business. We are on the cusp of a significant rollout”.

Updated Summary of Restaurant Reopening Plans

The latest from the Restaurant Law Center includes updates to Florida, Georgia, New York and Tennessee.

July 8, 2020

As Reopenings Stall, Can Restaurants Survive a Second Blow?

Restaurant sales that had been improving since hitting lows in April are now sputtering in the first states to log rising case counts such as Arizona, North Carolina and Nevada.

July 7, 2020

Updated Summary of Restaurant Reopening Plans

Restaurants in Miami-Dade County and 6 additional California Counties must close indoor dining, and capacity has been reduced in Nashville. Read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center.

July 6, 2020

Farm Workers Are Still Getting Sick, Fruit Pickers Struggle

Growing outbreaks among farmworkers nationwide come as most employers are looking to reduce the threat of outbreaks among their workers and the coronavirus continues to sicken workers at U.S. meatpacking plants.

July 3, 2020

Should You Be Helping Your Small Business Suppliers?

The small businesses in the extended supply chain, hidden from view in the lower tiers, present the most risk and the least amount of control. It's their failure that may have the greatest impact on your business and customers.

The US Food Supply Chain is a Hot Mess, Experts Agree

Recovery could take 1-4 years, profit margins will be hit by messy re-balancing, companies will need to rewire for agility versus trying to achieve static optimization states. Let's hope farmers and food producers can hang on.

July 2, 2020

Updated Summary of State Restaurant Reopening Plans

Here's the latest information from the Restaurant Law Center.

States Tap the Brakes on Reopening, NYC Postpones Indefinitely

The indoor dining postponement in New York City and ban in counties in California followed postponements in New Jersey, Philadelphia and roll-backs of dine-in restrictions in Texas and Florida.

Author: Supply Chain Scene