The wholesale food business has had numerous additional problems ever since the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic. It was particularly evident after the significant drop in demand for commodities because of the decreased occupancy of resorts, cafes, schools, and sports facilities.
As the nations keep fighting the pandemic, the demand for food supplies in the hotel and hospitality industry is yet to recover to its previous state. To deal with the situation, several wholesale food store have started providing supplies directly to the retailers. And some others have invested in analyzing their data to review each product line and evaluate whether they are still lucrative.
Altering product lines to satisfy current demands
Ever since the onset of pandemic and worldwide lockdowns, the demand for supplies has also shifted drastically from the previous prevailing situation.
As per a recent well-known study, four new types of need patterns have arisen as a response to this global pandemic:
- Loading and consuming
The demand, as well as the consumption of certain items, has increased significantly. This is because people have started stockpiling these items due to scarcity worries or health concerns, which lead to increased consumption during this current time. And it is assumed the people will carry on consuming these products even after we get over this situation.
Cleaning supplies, sanitizers, masks, vitamins, and nutrients are also included in this archetype.
- Loading and preserving
Although people are continuously stocking these items on their shelves, the consumption of these products has not changed much. However, due to the sudden onset and offset of lockdowns, individuals suddenly reacted to the fear of shortage of certain items and started buying more of them, like pet food and toilet paper in bulk.
However, throughout the catastrophe, the consumption of these items has not grown. It only led to the crisis of such products n the market. It certainly was not convenient for anybody.
- At Home Demands
Work-from-home and quarantine regulations are driving customers from food-services shops to online merchants. As people cannot go out of their houses as much, the demand for on-location food outlets is decreasing while the demand for online food and drink services is increasing at almost similar rates.
As a result of this shift, several food joints and restaurants and even bars and pubs started partnering up with online delivery services to keep their business afloat.
- Not For Now
Even though people are now relying on online services to order and purchase certain things they need from their homes, there are still certain items that the consumer is no longer paying much heed to. It is primarily due to the decreasing level of consumer confidence and needs for these items. This situation leads to the decline of demand for several products during these pandemic times, including beauty, food, beverages, and drinks.
For wholesale food stores, most of them fall under the fourth category. To remedy the situation, many distilleries and brewers in partnership with local vendors and retailers have started manufacturing sanitization products, especially hand sanitizers.
Shifting Sales Channels
More customers are now choosing to buy online. The wholesale food suppliers also collaborate with major retailers and grocery shops to sell their products and fulfil the online retail criteria.
Although merchants and producers have spent substantially on e-commerce platforms, there has historically been minimal online purchasing. However, ever since the pandemic, several customers have resorted to buying groceries and food from online channels for the first time.
The consequence was a considerable increase in the adoption of food e-commerce in almost every home. This change is very much expected to prevail in the future.
Provide discounts on items with a short shelf life
Since some items, such as milk, meat, beers, baby food, and medicines tend to expire faster than others, they could easily become dead stock if not checked adequately from time to time. Employ innovative business insights to track your inventory counts to decrease the frequency of dead stocks.
Try selling such items at a substantially lower price for products approximating their expiry date even closer to the cost of the goods. It is preferable to move the inventory than to end up throwing it away in your trash. With certain business tools, you can adjust the view of your dashboard to display the number of perishable items in your inventory to offer discounts on them when needed from time to time.
Customers typically buy their items from wholesalers that provide the quickest shipping times at the cheapest rates. But offering the least pricing isn’t always practical. However, that does not entail that your business cannot compete.
Your sales staff may simply keep track of patterns and expenses using business information gathered using specific business tools. These tools offer your team the opportunity to detect which firms purchase one item but not the complimentary item with it. It generates cross-selling opportunities.
The secret to success for wholesale food sellers and suppliers is to adapt to new business strategies and employ intelligent business tools to track the ever-changing patterns of customer demand and adapt accordingly to remain competitive in the market.
The changes that this coronavirus pandemic has brought is expected to prevail for some time shortly as well. So all wholesale food suppliers must be geared up to make the needed changes to their business processes to sustain in the industry.