Baking & Snack - August 2020 - 19

SPECIAL REPORT
Industry Pulse Survey: Phase II

c-stores noted emphasizing ready-to-heat meals, which
could open opportunities for baking companies trying
to diversify their c-store or foodservice offerings.
Another outlet continuing the upward trajectory is,
not surprisingly, direct-to-consumer websites. Between
stay-home orders and fears of crowded supermarkets,
consumers' online grocery activity has skyrocketed,
and commercial bakers are seeing a similar trend on
their websites.

Easing the supply chain concerns
From stark changes in consumer shopping habits to supply chain interruptions, commercial bakers have often
found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.
In this phase of the Cypress Research study, executives noted that while supply chain disruption has abated for ingredients and packaging, the equipment disruption continues.
"Within the ingredient and packaging supply chains,
the June industry pulse study shows that concern about
significant impact has moderated," Ms. Hellmer observed. "Concern has gone down a bit with equipment
but not dramatically."
In the June survey, 14% of bakers noted a "significant
impact" on the equipment supply chain as opposed to 9%
each for ingredients and packaging. That doesn't come
as a huge surprise with so many baking companies still
not allowing outsiders into their production facilities. It
poses a challenge on the equipment side, where in-person
interaction is still necessary for events like line installations, factory equipment testing and machine repairs.
That said, the concern still dropped by 4% in June,
which trends relatively steadily with ingredients and
packaging, whose "significant impact" response fell 5%
and 4%, respectively.
"Although concern levels have greatly moderated
since March, ongoing pressure points related to equipment are concerns for long lead times, needed technical support and challenges surrounding plant startups,"
Ms. Hellmer said.
Qualitative survey responses allowed participants to
narratively describe their supply chain needs. One trend
emerged: backup plans. Several bakery executives indicated the need for secondary or even tertiary resources
as contingencies in a worst-case scenario. It's clear that
the pandemic has taught bakers how to plan for not only
the worst but also the unknown.
Other efforts to head off supply chain disruption include frequent communication with suppliers including
weekly phone calls and taking advantage of technology
such as video conferencing.
Additionally, some of bakers' biggest concerns relate
to the workforce.

Currently, how has the COVID-19 outbreak impacted
sales in the following channels? (June 2020)
Sales are down

Sales are steady

Sales are up

Grocery, super center, club store

15%

15%

70%

Direct-to-customer website

29%

12%

59%

Dollar, drug store

37%

21%

42%

Your own retail locations

55%

9%

36%

Convenience store

46%

32%

21%

Distributor

57%

22%

22%

Restaurant/foodservice

96%

Currently, to what extent has the COVID-19 outbreak
disrupted your supply chain in the following areas?
No/little impact

Some impact

Significant impact

Ingredients
March
June

74%
74%

13% 14%
18%
9%

Packaging
March
June

76%
76%

10% 13%
16% 9%

Equipment
March
June

63%
69%

18%
17%

18%
14%

Just as in March, companies' primary business concern in the pandemic is the availability of staff due to
COVID-related illness/outbreaks, easing up by only 1%
in Phase Two of the study. The second biggest concern
stems from workforce vacancies dating back to before
the pandemic, and worker safety rounds out the Top 3.
In fact, this third concern has increased by 6% since the
initial survey phase.
As Americans try to find a semblance of normal -
and then grapple with new outbreaks and redefine normal once again - bakers know that, from the workforce
to the supply chain to the products on shelves and in
digital shopping carts, there is no other option than that
of the show must go on.

*

www.bakingbusiness.com / August 2020 Baking & Snack 19


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Baking & Snack - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - August 2020

Baking & Snack - August 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - August 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - August 2020 - 2
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