The Packer’s Tom Karst spoke on March 30 with Craig Carlson, CEO of Chicago-based Carlson Produce Consulting, LLC.

Carlson shared his insight on consumer behavior, retail performance and wholesaler adjustments caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are in unprecedented times, and the produce supply chain has been challenged at every level,” Carlson said, adding that the industry may never be the same again.

“The biggest problems that I’m hearing from the retailer’s standpoint is their distribution centers, getting in trucks and unloaded and getting product picked, packed and distributed to their stores,” he said.

Meanwhile, Carlson said wholesalers are adjusting to the new market realities, noting that some have formed partnerships with retailers.

“Going forward, hopefully, we’ll have a much more diversified wholesale business models and protect these companies,” he said.

Get more coronavirus-related coverage relevant for the industry here.


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