2020 has certainly been a year full of unexpected surprises, but let’s not focus on the negatives. Instead, let’s think of all the things we’ve learnt over the past 12 months. Perhaps, for you, it’s how to be more mobile and agile, or simply how to remain calm during challenging periods.

Food and drink manufacturers have been forced to adapt and change their working methods to survive this year. Despite everything that’s happened, however, these challenges can be used as an opportunity to learn. And in this blog, we’re highlighting the most important ones… 


Your role in society is crucial 

Key workers around the world were applauded and praised for their efforts, keeping the nation and economy moving forward during the pandemic. And, workers in the food manufacturing industry were included in this. From ensuring shelves were stocked to adapting products to meet demand, food manufacturers played a huge part in society – and will continue to do so during the recovery phase. 

Not only did food businesses continue to produce and distribute high-quality products in a safe way, but they worked together to implement stringent measures. We can’t forget the fact that our industry didn’t just maintain production but stepped up to meet incredible demand. 


The importance of staying on top of trends

The need for businesses to be more responsive, agile and proactive has been increasing over time. Now, it’s been accelerated. Lockdown changed the way we shop. Sales for food service companies dropped, and consumers looked for healthier alternatives or plant-based products to protect themselves – and the world around us. 

It was great to see companies like Nestle thinking outside the box though. To meet ever-changing consumer demands, they opened a new digital distribution warehouse to provide personalised and bespoke services to their customers. They’ve also partnered with Deliveroo to provide customers with the products they enjoy straight to their home.


Diversity and flexibility are the way forward

A new year is always a great time to look at what worked, what didn’t and what’s next. The pandemic meant we all had to be proactive, not reactive. This in itself can be used as a learning tool to create a more diverse and flexible workforce going forward. 

It’s great to see our industry working together to build a better future. In 2021, The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is set to publish its National Food Strategy. This is expected to outline the current challenges, potential challenges and new opportunities. 


So, what’s next?

The last year may have given us more challenges than usual but 2021 will likely have its own. Brexit, climate change, and new consumer trends are just a few – and that’s before we even think about further COVID-19 impact. So, to ensure your business is in the best position, you need the best people behind it. 

Maybe you’re looking for additional staff who can take care of your specific hygiene needs. Or perhaps you need an NPD Manager to steer you forward. Our team can help, even in those candidate-short markets. So, whether you’re looking for permanent or interim staff, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable team today!