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Food for Thought

The coronavirus has also jolted the food industry. Four managers explain how this led them to focus on essentials—and how they even discovered some new opportunities.

A farmer fills sacks with barley grain in a warehouse in Cervera, Spain. Despite filled warehouses, logistical problems led to bottlenecks in the supply of food in many places at the beginning of the corona pandemic. Photo: David Ramos/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Flour, oats, yeast—just a few months ago no one imagined there might be shortages of food staples such as these. But with the advent of Covid-19, a sense of uncertainty arose. As the virus broke out in different countries and governments responded with restrictions on public life, gaps began appearing on supermarket shelves.

Faced with an unknown virus, many people wanted to be certain at least of a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry. So far, so human. But the sudden rush to squirrel away staples presented food producers with unprecedented challenges. From one day to the next, some had to shift their production and others had to mobilize considerable additional capacities.

A look at the food industry reveals that its businesses employed a wide array of methods to address the crisis, or even used the weeks of lockdown to put new ideas into practice and advance changes. One factor turned out to be constant throughout the industry: in an emergency, companies were able to count above all on the loyalty of their employees and customers.

Read the full article in Porsche Consulting Magazine