Online Food & Beverage sales have grown quickly during the past two years, with much of this shift having to do with the coronavirus pandemic. Now, direct-to-consumer (DTC) food brands are seeing a rapid rise in demand. Because a lot of food and beverages can be perishable, it is important for food and beverage companies to plan their fulfillment services meticulously.
With many customers looking for food deliveries and subscription box services, food and beverage businesses need to think about how they can improve their fulfillment and logistics strategies. Companies that are able to adapt quickly will place themselves in the best position possible to be successful. With the right technology, temperature-controlled warehousing, and fulfillment infrastructure, food and beverage DTC services can take advantage of this increased demand.
At the same time, there are challenges to overcome. What are a few examples?
It should come as no surprise that perishable products are one of the biggest challenges that food and beverage companies must overcome. Inventory management is essential, and some refrigerated products can go bad in relatively short order. Frozen products on the other hand must stay frozen while in transit to the consumer. Therefore, it is essential to reduce transit times to 1 to day delivery to ensure the items arrive fresh or still frozen. Always account for expiration dates when shipping food. If customers realize that their items are going to expire shortly after receiving them, they are not going to be happy.
Shipping That Takes Too Long
When customers purchase food and beverage items, they want their order to arrive as quickly as possible. There are few customers who are willing to wait more than a couple of days for their orders to be shipped. Customers expect fast delivery for all products, and this is particularly true for food and beverage items. Companies need to be ready to fulfill orders as quickly as possible to keep customers happy. If you are only able to ship on specific days, which is quite common especially for smaller brands, make sure you set your customers expectation accordingly to minimize order cancellations.
Orders That Arrive Damaged
Food and beverages are delicate. Food can be cracked easily. Packaging can be damaged. Holes can be poked in certain liquid containers, causing them to spill. Glass bottles can break with the slightest touch. Therefore, all businesses must make sure they have durable packaging. If orders arrive damaged, customers are going to expect a refund. Test the packaging against the shipping conditions and make sure it can stand up to the stress.
Inspection Problems and Shutdowns
There are strict regulations that food and beverage companies must follow. All fulfillment centers will be inspected regularly by the FDA. If any problems are uncovered, businesses must work with the FDA to correct these errors to resume operations. In some situations, the FDA might even issue a recall for certain food and beverage products, which can significantly harm the image of a business. Therefore, all storage facilities have to be certified to avoid significant brand damage. This can prevent a shutdown and keep the fulfillment center on track.
Overcome These Challenges with Gray Growth Logistics
Logistics and fulfillment represent growing concerns in the food and beverage industry. If you want to keep your customers happy, you need to partner with professionals who can place you in the best position possible to be successful. At Gray Growth Logistics, we understand how to overcome all these challenges. We will work with you personally, helping you position your brand appropriately in a changing industry. Contact us today to take advantage of our cutting-edge fulfillment, shipping, and logistics capabilities!