Whether you work in a restaurant, at a bar, eat out regularly—or even occasionally —or just buy groceries, it's no secret that the food service industry supply chain faced enormous pressure during the Covid-19 crisis. Not only were there initial shortages of basic grocery items due to consumer stockpiling, but there were also rapidly changing purchasing patterns aimed at reducing social contact to contend with. And as the food industry responded to the crisis, bars and restaurants closed or limited their services, consumers adapted to cost and availability challenges by modifying their choices in a variety of ways.
One way consumers adapted is by cooking more. According to a report by Hunter PR, 54% of Americans are cooking more than they did pre-Covid-19 and more than a third of home cooks discovered new ingredients and products outside of their loyalties to well-established brands. In addition, an article published by Eater suggested that more food—whether fresh, frozen or processed—was being sold directly to consumers rather than to restaurants, affecting the type and size of packaging. Not only that, but the way consumers shopped also changed. According to a survey by Disqo, more customers shopped online or opted for curbside pickup than ever before.
As a result of these rapid shifts in consumer behavior, the food and beverage industry needed to adapt—quickly. Below, we'll take a look at how the future of 5G networks could do even more to help the industry innovate, create more streamlined, nimble processes, and enable better insight and control of products along their journey—all of which could help to improve food safety and more.