I recently caught up with Dan Carmody, President of Detroit’s Eastern Market, and Frank Dell, CEO of food consultancy Dell Mart Inc., to discuss solutions to food deserts. Before diving into their solutions, however, I should note that food deserts are a multidimensional problem that requires multidimensional solutions.
The Distribution Blog
Current trends suggest that the status quo of long-distance food distribution may be primed for disruption. Increased consumer demand for locally-grown organic foods, coupled with a renewed interest in living in urban cores and rising gas prices, collectively suggest that U.S. food distribution networks will soon need to evolve.
The era of cheap oil is over. The last few years have seen high fuel prices and increasing market volatility. The good news? Companies that manage a fleet can cope with rising fuel costs by streamlining fuel procurement, improving operations and fleet management, and better planning delivery routes and shipment loads.
The growing interest in online shopping is creating headaches for distributors – as well as new opportunities. The challenge is increasing consumer expectations, coupled with a paradigm shift from fulfilling business-to-business orders to fulfilling business-to-consumer orders. Here’s how distributors can thrive with ecommerce.
Organic food currently suffers from inefficient distribution network. Organic distributors need to adopt technology that automatically informs grocers of available inventory and pricing. At the same time, grocers will need to invest in technology that allows them to find the right organic distributor at the best price.
Food-related illnesses cost the US $152 billion each year. These costs stem from emergency and ongoing medical care, lost work time, pain and suffering, and death. Clearly, more preventative measures are needed to get this financial and health issue under control. The Food Safety Modernization Act takes a step in this direction.
The locavores are swarming and the popularity of local food is increasing across the nation. The number of farmer’s markets has more than tripled since the USDA started tracking markets in 1994 – increasing from 1,755 to 6,132. In 2010, direct sales from farmers to consumers increased to over $1.2 billion.
- Blogs by Market:
- Subscribe to the Software Advice Distribution Blog