Farm to Store: Adding Flexibility to the Supply Chain

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The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the inherent weakness of the traditional food & CPG supply chain. At the same time, consumer and shopping trends already developing before the start of the pandemic accelerated to where a return to pre-pandemic retailing and supply chain operations is unlikely. In this session, we will discuss the results from an ongoing global research project conducted by Western Michigan University's Food Industry Research and Education Center into consumers' changing consumption and shopping behaviors and how these changes necessitate the development of new, more flexible and agile supply chain solutions. We will discuss practical solutions building on the strengths of food retailers, topics such as; assortment development, managing shortages, and on-shelf-availability, near-sourcing, alternative suppliers, merchandising and packaging solutions for a post-pandemic reality.

Russell Zwanka, Associate Professor- Food/CPG Marketing, Western Michigan University
Marcel Zondag, Associate Professor of Marketing and Integrated Supply Management, Western Michigan University

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