In the wake of a global pandemic, shoppers of all demographic sets are changing their habits in ways we never predicted. This has had a particularly large impact on retail grocery – from how shops handle, store and distribute products, to the workload and duties of store employees, to dealing with supply disruptions that have left shelves empty and shoppers frustrated.
Economic experts are quick to point out that we aren’t likely to "return to normal" but going forward, we will be defining what's "normal" under a new set of rules. If one of the key takeaways from this shifting environment was that the global food supply wasn't prepared to handle changes of this scale and speed, what does that mean for retailers dependent on this supply chain?
It means now, more than ever, you need to stay flexible and pivot when needed, whether that’s responding to demand or labour constraints, addressing shrink or complying with environmental regulations or consumer concerns about safety.
The environment for retail grocery is undergoing some serious shifts. Record-low unemployment and the impact of a global pandemic have disrupted the reliability of the supply chain. Once-loyal brick-and-mortar shoppers have embraced E-commerce technology at rates much faster than previously predicted. Competition for acquiring and keeping skilled labour has never been more intense.
While new competitive pressures, technological advances and evolving consumer attitudes and behaviours continue to drive change, forward-thinking grocers must also remain focused on managing shrink and profit optimisation. That’s especially true on the perimeter, where the quality and freshness of perishable items like fresh meats provides one of the last-remaining areas that can drive customer loyalty.
As governments around the world rush to establish quotas and implement laws intended to protect the environment, the packaging industry and our customers are under pressure to offer sustainable solutions. At Sealed Air, we emphasise use of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) in our approach to designing, developing, making and selling sustainable packaging.
CRYOVAC® vacuum skin packaging is well suited for high-quality, case-ready products. The "second skin" helps preserve freshness and extend shelf life, while sealing tightly and free of tension. Product presentation remains optimal and holds firmly in place without the need to worry about leaks or purge. Ideal for fresh meats, poultry, seafood and cheese for retail, E-commerce or meal kits.
When poultry producer Shenandoah Valley Organic wanted to communicate quality and environmental responsibility through packaging, they wisely chose CRYOVAC brand vacuum skin packaging to replace foam tray with overwrap. The results speak for themselves.