Nellson, a California-based manufacturer of branded and private label nutritional products, recently reported on supply chain challenges and how the company is helping brands navigate the pandemic. The producer of private label nutrition bars and powder solutions said that ingredient availability, delayed shipping, and changing consumer demands have impacted the market and supply chains.
“These are very challenging times,” said Francis Rinfret, VP of global supply chain and client interface of Nellson. “Extremely demanding supply chain situations across the market and around the world are causing food and beverage brands to struggle to manage their promotional volumes and to assure tighter distribution practices.”
“Being proactive is key,” he said. “As we anticipate the next hurdle and find creative solutions to counter it before it happens. We are working closer than ever, and communicating frequently with suppliers regarding longer-term visibility of requirements, so they can in turn, plan and anticipate.”
In addition to ingredient availability challenges, demand for healthier foods has added another layer of difficulty to the supply chain issues. The pandemic has altered the way consumers view their personal health, and has driven many to seek food and beverages to support their immune system. Mintel, a food and beverage market data company, recently reported 25% of consumers are eating more immune-boosting foods as a direct result of the pandemic, and this percentage jumps to 36% among millennial consumers. Nellson says this change has resulted in higher demand for key ingredients in its products, including inulin and protein.
“Our supply chain strengths can help brand partners source ingredients that are in short supply, such as inulin and protein,” said Jack Spallone, VP of corporate procurement at Nellson. “By employing a Design-to-Value philosophy and investing in world-class Supplier Relationship Management, we can provide economies of scale with specific supplier-partners. In turn, this confers benefits to Nellson and our customers. The buying power and strategic customer response from our suppliers to us and then to our end customers, puts all of our stakeholders in a better position. These relationships are curated and tested through competitive Request for Proposals (RFP), as well as constant evaluation of new source opportunities and a supplier performance/key performance indicator (KPI) program.”