Snack Foods See Uptick Because They Are Comfort Foods
COVID-19 has required several food brands to adapt their supply chains in order to keep their products on shelves.
Caused by the Coronavirus, there have been increases in demands for comfort foods and snacks. Companies have been forced to increase operations while also adhering to social distancing and increased sanitation standards. "Among each snacking giant, a nimble supply chain and a fast-thinking team were crucial to being able to make it through the initial wave of instability and change", Business Insider reports. It is believed that the comforting and iconic nature of Hershey, Mars, and Frito-Lay has led to the large increase in demand.
"Salty snacks have had a notable edge as the top food item contributing to sales growth at retailers since early March, according to sales data from IRI, a data-analytics and market-research company". Frito-Lay decided to focus on the supply of their core brands through reducing around 21% of their brands and flavors.
Several shoppers have expressed their frustration over their favorite brands disappear. "Frito-Lay responded and confirmed that certain flavors such as Doritos Salsa Verde, Fritos Scoops Spicy Jalapeño and Lay's Lightly Salted were experiencing a temporary pause in production". However, Frito Lay is gradually reintroducing their less popular flavors.
All of these companies have been allowed to stay open during the pandemic as they are considered essential services. Hershey has analyzed changes in consumer behavior noticing strong sales in five and twelve packs of products, their baking segments, and products related to "home cocooning behaviors".
Mars also kept their factories open while making adjustments to their operations. CEO Grant Reid told Business Insider that all factories adapted to abide by social distancing rules while also providing PPE and increased cleaning protocols.
"That includes recovery plans that keep in mind the clean, resilient and low carbon world we want tomorrow, and doing our part to help those that will be the most vulnerable to the lingering impacts of the pandemic in our extended supply chain," Reid told Business Insider.
Mars' CEO said that a company's report showed 20% of consumers said that they were "snacking for comfort and for the joy of treating others."
While supply chains are being damaged across industries, the snacking industry is adapting well to the new norms. "Hershey and Mars have survived world wars, natural disasters, and economic depressions." This pandemic certainly does not seem to be a hurdle that these companies cannot overcome.