Boardroom - Special Edition

How the food industry can respond to COVID-19

Welcome to Boardroom Special Edition on how the food the industry can respond to COVID-19 from FMI and Oliver Wyman.

It is understood in communication circles that it takes seven pieces of good news to offset the effects of one negative report. Apparently, humans are simply hardwired to give bad news more emotional heft. That being the case, when the critical accounts of the effects of COVID-19 come crashing in – the nation’s health status, the jobs lost, the challenges to the food supply, and the uncertainty of what the future looks like – it’s easy to become overwhelmed in the daily bath of bad news. It is then that we must remember another truth about humans – we are often at our best when things are the worst. Challenging times produce their fair share of victims, but they also create a climate for heroes to emerge.

For the past few months you have been worrying about the safety of your employees and the resilience of your supply chains.  You have ramped up your online ordering capabilities, and handled hundreds of other concerns that a scant six months ago would have been difficult to imagine. The strategic plans you set in January have been upended, but—and take a deep breath—there is still time to make some midsummer plans that can strengthen your business partnerships and lay out an adjusted strategic path forward.

The food retail industry’s vigor in responding to the on-going crisis has highlighted the resiliency and strength of grocery retail as never before.  We are pleased to convene leaders together for the FMI Midsummer virtual event. The gathering provides an exclusive opportunity to strengthen the strategic course into 2021. With this gathering, we also bring together FMI and Oliver Wyman thought leadership for a special digital Boardroom Edition 5.5.

In it, we tackle tough pandemic-related issues like: the implications of changing consumer behaviors for the food industry, workforce and supply chain performance, disruptions and ultimately, recovery.

It is always an honor to be part of the food industry, but it is especially rewarding during times like these to be associated with such a noble group of trusted and action-oriented partners. We look forward to being continued resources to you, your teams and your businesses.

As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. FMI brings together a wide range of members across the value chain — from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services — to amplify the collective work of the industry. Read More

COVID-19 Context

The Oliver Wyman COVID-19 Pandemic Navigator forecasts the number of new and cumulative coronavirus cases across nearly 40 countries, incorporating the effectiveness of containment and suppression measures.

It also provides insights into how to manage after the peak, as well as the ability to study potential future containment scenarios until a vaccine or a scale treatment solution is in place.

The Oliver Wyman COVID-19 Pandemic Navigator provides a quantitative basis on which governments, industry groups, and companies can examine the impact of COVID-19 on business, and consider how to “reopen” responsibly.

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As part of the country’s critical infrastructure, the food industry is unique because most grocery stores and food producers remained open in the effort to ensure food was available as thousands of businesses were forced to close.
Voice of the Food Industry Blog - FMI

Consumer Insights

COVID-19 hit and almost overnight the number of online shoppers soared. About 21 percent of Americans have tried online shopping for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic; 8 percent have returned; and 19 percent are continuing to online shop, most at deeper levels than before.
Voice of the Food Industry Blog - FMI

Implications for The Food Industry

When it comes to the business of food and our greater marketplace, the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly upended the ordinary. Today, the meaning of normal seems to be like a goal post that keeps moving down the field.
Voice of the Food Industry Blog - FMI

Leadership and Workforce

The food industry finds itself in a unique position in this national emergency to both nourish lives and provide for those looking for steady income, based on their own needs to hire workers. We’re witness to unprecedented labor challenges across foodservice, hospitality, travel/tourism and related sectors, and simultaneously, an unparalleled demand for grocery jobs.
Voice of the Food Industry Blog - FMI