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COVID-19: Industry Updates

COVID-19 is rewriting the typical food manufacturing playbook

“People have to eat. Those of us in the food business need to keep pushing to make it as safe as possible and as available as possible. The continued resiliency of the food and beverage industry is amazing. Large, medium and small brands are rallying and supporting each other, and that gives me optimism.”—Brandon Hernandez, co-founder, Whole Brain Consulting.

That’s one of the takeaways from this episode of Catching Up with Jon Benninger, vice president of the Health & Nutrition Network for Informa Markets, who talks with Brandon Hernandez, co-founder Whole Brain Consulting, a food industry consultancy with offices in Loveland, Colorado and Chicago that specializes in operations management; food safety, quality and regulatory compliance; and supply chain management.

In this episode Hernandez provides his perspective of what’s going on in the food and beverage market and how companies are pivoting business plans in the uncharted waters of COVID-19. “These are crazy times, no doubt. The entire food industry is trying to figure out what’s going on, what will happen next and how to prepare so they aren’t left behind. Take a deep breath, be proactive and enlist the help of experts,” he said.

Among the highlights are:

  • How brands that are self-manufacturing products need to beef up their food safety programs and protocols.
  • How brands need to work with their co-packer to ensure time in on the manufacturing line.
  • Having multiple ingredient suppliers at the ready for rare and common ingredients.
  • The need for a concrete crisis continuity plan long before a crisis disrupts business operations.
  • Increased precautions food manufacturers should take in terms of sanitation and food safety best practices.
  • How and if consumer attitudes toward dining out, sustainability, work travel and purchasing patterns may change once the pandemic subsides.

To listen to this as a podcast, visit the Food & Beverage Insider Podcast streaming pages at iTunes and Soundcloud.

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