Industry News

Top 10: The food and beverage industry continues to adjust to the new normal

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the food and beverage industry, restaurants, retailers and manufacturers are adjusting strategies to prioritize the health and safety of workers and consumers while meeting increased demands. This week’s most-clicked list by SmartBrief food-and-beverage readers consisted entirely of stories about how companies are adapting to the new normal in the US as a result of the pandemic.

The top story of the week was news that legislators in Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are proposing to require insurance providers to apply business disruption policies to restaurants mandated to close during state shutdown orders. The National Restaurant Association-backed measures would cover the costs of restaurants forced to close because of coronavirus.

In other restaurant news, major foodservice chains have found new ways to reach customers while locations across the country are closed. Bakery-cafe chain Panera is pivoting to online sales of grocery items such as milk, yogurt and bagels to compensate for lost dining revenue. Taco Bell has created a new advertising campaign reminding everyone that the fast-food chain is still operating drive-thrus for consumers to pick up food.

Grocer H-E-B has also adjusted some business practices, such as offering packaged meals in partnership with local restaurants in Texas. Profits from the meals will go back to the participating restaurants. The retailer has also added new rules to limit the number of customers in stores at the same time. Publix Super Markets has also implemented new features to hopefully reduce the spread of coronavirus; tap-to-pay options have begun rolling out at Publix checkouts.

The No. 2 and No. 3 stories on this week’s most-clicked list, respectively, were about new production protocols at consumer packaged goods manufacturers General Mills and Tyson Foods. To keep up with demand, General Mills is permitting its office workers to work in plants and giving bonuses to its production employees for at least four weeks. Three Tyson production facilities have added temperature scanners that use infrared technology to check all employees as they enter the plants.

Check out the complete list of this week’s top 10 most-clicked stories in SmartBrief's food and beverage briefs:

  1. States could require insurers to cover pandemic losses
  2. General Mills invites office staff to work in plants
  3. Tyson installs temperature scanners at plant entries
  4. How the pandemic is expected to reshape food trends
  5. What's actually behind the US toilet paper shortage?
  6. Panera to offset lost sales with grocery offers
  7. H-E-B selling restaurant meals, limiting store capacity
  8. Taco Bell creates Zoom-style ad to promote drive-thru
  9. Pandemic lessons from Europe can help US grocers
  10. Publix rolls out contactless payment

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