Don’t Upset the Apple Cart

March 19th, 2021

The foodservice industry plays an integral part of our nourishment, our culture, and our economy.


Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

The foodservice industry plays an integral part of our nourishment, our culture, and our economy.  This connection has been highlighted during our current battle with a pandemic. Foodservice is challenging in normal times, and when you upset the proverbial apple cart with the added challenge of supply chain interruptions caused by national and international demands and market increases due to trade restrictions, the entire industry is forced to make some critical decisions.

In order for the foodservice industry to provide the apples, they also have to include the cost of the cart, because the packaging of our food is a necessary consideration, especially since we immediately pivoted to a contactless environment. Instead of the cart, it is the paper and the plastic containers in which we receive our take-out orders, as well as our grocery supplies that has gone through the roof.  Whether the food is coming from the field or the factory, domestic or import, it has to be placed in a container in order to travel to your table.

Our three major trade partners are China, Mexico, and Canada, and imports decreased about 20 percent during the second quarter of 2020. Wisconsin is best known for being a dairy state but they are the biggest manufacturer of paper in the United States and sell more paper, employ more people, and have more paper mills than any other state. Paper mills were already struggling prior to the onset of the pandemic due to decline in print media, but most mills were not equipped or it was too expensive to retool for transition to food paper production, and have had to shut down production. Food wrapping paper is a significant chunk of business for Wisconsin paper manufacturers and converters, ranging from paper sleeves between slices of cheese or deli meat, to grease-resistant papers, baking papers and more.

From medical supplies to food packaging, plastics are essential in the effort to stop the spread of corona virus. Plastics have become more and more vital to help keep our families healthy and our food protected, both in the medical and the food industry.  Plastics materials and plastics are in high demand and some of the top sources of plastics imports, such as China and Vietnam have imposed temporary trade restrictions. This has also created a strain on demand from our domestic plastic manufacturers.

Increased demand and fewer resources have led to the climbing cost of safely doing business. In retail, margin management is key to profit retention and category management has become increasingly difficult in these times.  Let SafeSourcing assist you with lowering your cost for the apple as well as the cart.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.



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