Evolving consumer behaviors are changing the nature of food distribution, and dispatch software can help companies adapt while maintaining maximum productivity. For decades, Americans have spent a large portion of their grocery bills on purchasing pre-packaged, frozen products that can be easily prepared at home with a microwave or oven. However, the online publication Quartzreported that the last few years have resulted in a steady decrease in sales of these goods. Fresh produce and other products are slowly taking the place of frozen meals in the eyes of health-conscious and spending-averse shoppers.
If these trends continue, food distributors responsible for shipping fresh produce to regional depots and grocery stores will likely experience a sharp increase in activity. The Quartz article attributed the declining growth of frozen food sales to several issues, including the growing popularity of dieting and a closer attention to proper portioning among American consumers. Similarly, shoppers are finding the products available in the freezer aisle are simply too expensive given the current state of the economy. Citing data from a 2012 AMG "Shopper Community Survey," more than one-quarter of individuals said products such as frozen pizza and both single and multi-serve entrees cost too much money.
Food businesses respond to trends
As a result, some of the world's largest food companies have adapted with radical adjustments to their operations. According to Reuters, Nestle recently announced it is interested in selling Davigel, a frozen food brand that primarily supplies hospitals and restaurants. The reason for the decision stems from chronic underperformance and dwindling revenues.
Food distributors have an opportunity to leverage these changing industry trends by investing in transportation software to acquire new customers and maximize profits. Because fresh food has a much shorter shelf life than frozen products, the growing popularity of these goods will require regular shipments between agricultural producers, regional warehouses, and grocery and convenience stores. Without the right technology, food distributors may find themselves unprepared to meet the demands of the industry. That's why tools such as freight management software can be so valuable. This resource makes it possible to take greater control over the route scheduling process while also using detailed customer information to coordinate deliveries and increase profits in the long run. Consumer behaviors are constantly changing, but the right tools help fleet owners establish a level of consistency to their overall operations.