Before the trade show floor opened at Innovations 2022, Dot Foods CEO Joe Tracy took to the stage to provide his annual Industry Update. There, he shared his take on the food and beverage industry as well as the latest news from Dot.
He revisited many of the topics he discussed at the 2021 show, such as supply chain roadblocks and the labor shortage. He also addressed ongoing inflation. But even with these challenges, businesses are getting back on track and innovation will bring about exciting developments for our industry. These are some of his takes on the current environment:
Tracy described inflation as a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Consumers and businesses alike expect higher inflation for months—even years—to come. “Either way you slice it, the next two years are going to bring more inflation,” he predicted.
Due to the labor shortage, businesses are faced with the challenge of executing their business model with fewer people. The increase in remote work has made it particularly difficult to fill warehouse, transportation, and foodservice positions.
A lot of truck drivers are leaving companies to become owner operators, but this trend will likely die down as spot rates decrease.
He predicts that online grocery sales will stay strong. Research shows that consumers prefer picking up online grocery orders over delivery.
C-stores are going to need to adapt to survive, particularly to electric vehicles. Some retail chains are already investing in charging stations. However, there are still many improvements to be made to the electric grid and charging.
What’s Next for Dot?
In last year’s update, Tracy shared how Dot is making investments in technology and new locations to offer better service to our customers. Our company has made considerable progress on these fronts.
Through acquiring Morsum and ShopHero, Dot will “facilitate choice bigger and better than we have in the past.” ShopHero and Morsum’s Anchovi platform are ecommerce solutions that will provide an endless aisle to retail and foodservice segments, respectively.
While other ecommerce platforms disrupt small and mid-sized businesses, he made it clear that Dot isn’t “trying to disrupt anybody.” These solutions will expand the reach of our supplier and distributor partners while giving national account operators and other end users easy access to products.
He also shared that we’re opening new distribution centers in Manchester, Tennessee and Ingersoll, Canada. This expansion plus the warehouse automation projects currently underway will help us serve customers more efficiently.
On the hiring front, Tracy is “cautiously optimistic.” Dot has made big improvements in warehouse and driver staffing since last year. He hopes that strengthening our workforce will allow our company to onboard new customers and suppliers soon.
As our industry continues to endure challenges, Dot remains committed to significantly contributing to the success of our business partners. Talk to your Dot representative to learn more about our available solutions. Dot Foods customers, suppliers, and national account operators can hear Joe Tracy’s next Industry Update during Innovations 2023, taking place June 13-15, 2023 in St. Louis.