Coronavirus has changed not only the way we shop, but what we'll be able to shop for, as well.
FG Trade/Getty Images
By Laurie Budgar
Supply and demand affect product mix
The coronavirus pandemic has shifted almost everything about our lives, and the way we shop for groceries is no exception. “We saw as consumers for the first time how fragile the supply chain really is,” says Phil Lempert, founder and editor of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com. Even major companies that produce our favorite (and now hard-to-come-by) brands have had issues keeping up with manufacturing and distribution to meet pandemic-level demands.
“I think over the next few months we’re going to see a lot of brands eliminate some SKUs,” Lempert says, referring to stock-keeping units, or individual products within a brand’s lineup. “We probably have too many products to begin with,” he says, noting that the average supermarket has 42,000 different products—or did, prior to the pandemic. In today’s environment, when the goal is to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, too much product choice can lead to overwhelm. Many of the products and services we’ve long taken for granted in grocery stores have already changed or been eliminated. While some things may eventually return, many will not. Read more >>