Blue Yonder is committed to helping its customers face the unexpected. To provide insights into the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on supply chains around the world, we are delivering a blog series to help anyone looking for support and advice. Our experts, who have spent years in the supply chain industry, share their insights.

We have witnessed, in front of our eyes, the changing of the new shopping experience. Grocers, beverage retailers, convenience stores, and other essential needs operations, controlling entry to the store, one person per aisle, rationing of products available for purchase, double-digit increases to categories deemed essential. Grocers have reported (Supermarket News, April 15, 2020)  average month over month increases of 25-30% for 2020. Private label impacts, sanitizing, candy, beer and wine have all seen increases and are part of the shopping list. Who would have thought toilet paper would see an increase in sales of 235%?! (IRI, Week 3-29). 

The shopping trip has accelerated in time, dwell times are now within the home through online shopping and consumer spending on-line is up 20-30% for safety and availability factors. How will this impact your categories going forward? What will be the category mix of a national brand to private label percentage as the categories align and shopping stabilizes? How will create the brick and mortar experience online while re-engaging at the shelf as shoppers’ habits have been impacted by hurried shopping? What categories that were traditional routine or convenience are now essential in the shopping list? Retailer and supplier collaboration will be at the forefront of assortment for the new normal. Category expansion, the return of meals at home, and consumption at home vs. on-site of food and beverage will impact not only supply chain, but the category alignment, strategy, and planning going forward. Are you prepared for what is ahead?

This blog is a part of our Coffee & Category Management Vlog series. Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2, and stay tuned for the next installment.