Food and beverage executives discussed the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their operations . While the pandemic has brought on many challenges , there are also many solutions and silver linings .
CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
CHALLENGE Food and beverage packaging can be labor intensive . By the time the process is automated , the skew changes and the automation needs to be re-calibrated .
SOLUTION Investing in higher quality , more complex equipment adds more flexibility to facilities to quickly change skews for all different packaging needs .
CHALLENGE Food service and travel have been negatively impacted since the global COVID-19 pandemic began .
SOLUTION Food and beverage companies have diversified their businesses by shifting their customer base and focusing on the segments that have seen an increase in demand , such as fastfood and fermentation ( beer ).
CHALLENGE Staffing is a major concern in many food and beverage facilities . It is difficult to keep processes consistent and repeatable with the high employee turnover .
SOLUTION Many processes can be automated so that fewer people are needed . Some companies have invested in Automated Guided Vehicles ( AGV ) to help move products without needing people .
CHALLENGE Building an effective online presence has been challenging due to lack of exposure with large online retailers , making it difficult to reach customers .
SOLUTION With large increases in online sales for food and beverage products , investments in IT and software to build more robust online platforms have been critical to increase exposure and get products in front of customers .