The baking industry is finding ways to move forward since the pandemic began, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Cypress Research and reported on BakingBusiness.com. The survey was a follow-up to an initial pulse survey conducted in March, and, compared to four months ago, the latest results show a more positive outlook.
More bakeries expect long-term production increases
More than 4 in 10 (44%) of respondents expect that production will increase as a long-term impact of the pandemic, while 24% expect production to decrease and 24% are unsure. This is a significant change from March, when only 36% expected an increase while 29% expected a decrease and 33% were unsure. “What we probably have here is a transfer of those ‘unsure’ in March to seeing more clearly opportunities for increased production,” said Cypress Research President Marjorie Hellmer.
Grocery stores and direct-to-consumer websites dominate sales channels
Sales have, understandably, shifted away from restaurants and foodservice and toward grocery stores, superstores, and club centers. The findings also reveal a significant upswing in sales via direct-to-consumer ecommerce.
Supply chains are getting back on track
As the pandemic hit, the food industry as a whole faced supply chain disruptions, which led to shortages on grocery store shelves. Certain bakery products, including bread and frozen pizza, were often unavailable, due both to the supply chain disruptions and to the fact that consumers were stockpiling these types of foods.
The new results suggest those disruptions are clearing up. Overall, fewer bakeries reported supply chain problems in June compared to March.
Workforce challenges continue to be a concern
The pandemic has exacerbated existing workforce challenges. According to the survey results, the top three workforce concerns among bakeries today are:
- Limited staff because of COVID-19 outbreaks (-1% change since the March survey)
- Filling vacancies that occurred prior to the pandemic
- Workforce safety (+6% change since the March survey)
For more survey results, see the full report.
Naegele has a long history of helping bakery manufacturers meet all of the challenges that come their way. Whether you need new equipment to ramp up production or are interested in automating your lines to address a labor shortage, we can help. Contact us today.