Cold chain monitoring rising in importance
More consumers than ever are keeping an eye on where their food is coming from and how safe it is, putting more pressure to effectively monitor cold chain movements
According to a new survey consumers value food safety, hygienic shopping environment and quality refrigeration equipment more than lower prices compared to the time before the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new survey, Market Research Report: Cold Chain Consumer Survey during COVID-19, which gathered responses from 604 adults, says that consumers are responding to COVID-19, putting pressure on retailers to adapt to changing consumption patterns.
Eighty-one percent of respondents said that they’re paying close attention to whether food is kept at safe temperatures during transportation and storage, underscoring a crucial need for retailers, supermarkets and suppliers to design and invest in technology, processes and cold chain infrastructure to meet consumer expectations and ensure both freshness and safety of food.
Seventy-two percent of the respondents plan to return to shopping in-person once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, where they will continue to expect the quality and freshness of food to be guaranteed.
A majority of respondents believe that supermarkets have improved their methods and standard in ensuring food safety and quality, increasing their expectations for quality, hygienic and fresh food.
The report authors say that the change of consumer behaviour will create significant markets for retailers who can use advanced end-to-end cold chain systems and the latest connected technologies to supply fresh and quality food and build trust in the long run.
This was particularly predominant in the Asian markers, where China leads the way at 88% of respondents now ordering fresh food from online stores or through mobile applications, and 50% of respondents saying they will continue to purchase food online after the pandemic.
With mass quantities of refrigerated and frozen food in inventory, large distribution centres experience the unique challenge of preventing food loss and protecting food safety on a grand scale.