Angela Santiago, The Little Potato Company

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures; food manufacturers have implemented such measures to ensure that Canadians continue to have access to safe food. They’ve modified their manufacturing process and their supply chains to address unprecedented demand. “In Their Own Words”  brings the behind-the-scenes stories to Grocery Business’ readers.

Angela Santiago, CEO and Co-Founder, The Little Potato Company

 Crisis leadership initiatives

Creamer potatoes have emerged as pantry stocking staple over the past few weeks because they’re not only a fresh product with a longer shelf-life, but they’re also extremely versatile to cook with and are packed with nutrients. Because of this, we’ve been seeing record-breaking demand from both consumers and retail partners. To keep up with demand, we’ve been working closely with our retail partners and credit our sales, operations and supply chain teams for managing inventory to meet consumer needs.

With the increased demand, we’re also prioritizing our employees’ health and wellbeing. We have implemented social distancing protocols, are only allowing essential staff in our facilities and increasing cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing throughout our facilities.  

Lastly, it’s been important for us to give back to local communities during these unprecedented and challenging times, and we’re fortunate to have the supply to donate our nutritious Creamer potatoes to local food banks.

Impact on the supply chain

We’re doing everything we can to get our products to our retail partners and consumers quickly, and we’re optimizing our supply chain process in order to do this. We have moved additional Creamer potatoes into our plants to ensure no service disruption, ordered additional packaging materials, increased production output and are working closely with our carrier networks to ensure we have adequate amount of truck capacity to transport goods.

E-commerce has also emerged as a priority platform for us as more consumers are staying home and turning to online grocery shopping services to fill their needs. We’re working quickly with our retail partners to get product up on their e-commerce platforms to meet consumers where they’re shopping.

Your business takeaways from this experience

Long-term implications and lifestyle changes will emerge from the current situation and as things begin to return to “normal.” More people are cooking at home right now, which has resulted in a newfound appreciation for home cooking and a continued value emphasis on simple and easy meal ideas. This will impact the new products we bring to market in the future as we always look to better serve our consumers.

Building out our online grocery delivery offerings will continue to be an area of importance for us as people limit their in-store visits. We expect that more consumers will rely on online shopping for a portion of their trips - whether for delivery or pick-up. For consumers who are making trips to the store, we expect they’ll be making fewer trips, but purchasing more per trip.

During this time, we’ve also seen an increase in people looking for recipe ideas on our website as meals have turned into an occasion that people look forward to throughout the day. We’ll continue to refine our recipe centre to make it easier to find recipes that meet consumers’ needs, as well as new recipes to take the stress out of meal planning.

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