Organic Foods, GMOs and the Supply Chain Part 2
In today’s changing world, how consumers view, purchase and consume food is altering the supply chain and logistics landscape. Along with new regulatory changes such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the packaging, handling, storage and delivery of food products is being dramatically affected by consumer trends.
Demand side changes on food industry logistics are impacting the food industry. As consumers apply pressure for faster, accurate order fulfillment, new logistics solutions and technology are being used to meet those critical needs. Dining habits, demographics and focus on convenience are driving change. This will necessitate that operations and logistics structures are changed to help keep service levels at lower costs as well as to help to maintain market share.
Because of the demand for freshness and quality, there has been substantial growth in home delivery from online channels, urban retail locations, on-demand deliveries and a change in distribution channels.
In this guide you will find how these trends affect today’s food supply chain:
- Seasonal supply and demand
- Food safety and product quality
- Food security
- Water resource
- Food perishability
Current supply chains are primarily designed to meet the needs of consumer dining and purchasing habits and are undergoing transformation. Consumers had previously focused primarily on cost and convenience. In order to meet these consumer needs, one-stop shopping, drive-thru service and value-added prepared food businesses as well as a wide variety of consumer packaged food products have taken hold. Heavily processed foods tend to have longer shelf lives. Manufacturing facilities and distribution centers focus on bulk shipments and large businesses have relied on predictable demand instead of responding to consumer on-the-go needs.
Facilities and transportation logistics need to be adjusted in order to ensure that consumer demands are met effectively. Technology can play a vital role in helping to ensure that businesses across the supply chain can communicate, collaborate and make more informed decisions using real time accurate information. Food product traceability is key to ensuring food safety as well as the security of food products. Innovative new technologies and methods including driverless cars, drones, warehouse automation, materials handling solutions and “Uber-like” delivery can help to improve product cycle times, optimize inventory, order fulfillment rates and speedy delivery.