Blog > Managing produce demands amidst New Year diet resolutions

It’s that time of year again. The New Year’s resolutions are coming thick and fast. And guess what, eating healthier and diets are right up there, creating increased produce demands in some produce categories and decreased demand in others.

Here we discuss what happens with New Year’s diet resolutions, the categories affected, and what you can do to prepare to maximize opportunities and minimize supply disruptions.

Diets top the resolutions charts

According to Statista, nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) wanted to start 2022 by ‘living healthier’. This was the most popular New Year’s resolution for 2022.

For 2023, again according to Statista data from December 2022, the top three New Year’s resolutions were ‘exercise more’ (52% of those surveyed), ‘eat healthier’ (50%), and ‘lose weight’ (40%).  Taken together, they equate to ‘living healthier’, along with less popular resolutions such as reducing alcohol and cigarette consumption. Note that 10% plan to become vegetarian or vegan in 2023, for health and/or environmental reasons.

In fact, as of January 2023, vegan diets outrank keto as America’s most popular diet. In the same study of diet-related Google searches, vegetarian diets ranked fourth, paleo seventh, and Mediterranean eighth.  Another study of American diet trends for 2023 indicated that the Mediterranean diet is likely to be the most employed, with keto second, vegan fourth, low carb sixth, a new one called DASH seventh, paleo eighth, and high-protein ninth.

You can see where this is heading. Depending on diet selected, the first month or two of the year will likely see a rush on green leafy vegetables, kale and other ‘superfoods’ like blueberries, and other categories such as nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and olive oil. And a potential decrease in carb, starch, saturated fat and dairy-related categories like red meat, potatoes, rice, and cheese.

This diet-related rush on certain produce categories typically lasts for only the first couple of months of the year, as not everyone will stick to it or is looking for short-term weight loss. (Expect a similar but not as a pronounced spike in the leadup to summer as consumers get ‘swimsuit ready’).

Preparing for fluctuations in produce demands

There are a few things here to think about in dealing with New Year diet-related demand fluctuations and potential increases.

First is to understand the size of the projected sales spike, and on what things. Looking at your sales for previous January and February periods by category will help here. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system makes this easier to review the previous year’s sales and provide forecast demand projections for the current year. An ERP also looks at your sales in real time so you can adjust on the fly if you see certain categories moving faster, or slower, than projected.

Second, if your ERP is combined with a good order management system (OMS), you can help shift slower-moving categories through an integrated advertising and push order capability, such as a popup at checkout that asks “Do you also want to purchase X?”. To successfully respond to both increased and decreased demand, it’s vital to have an omnichannel OMS with purpose-built applications to maximize availability and increase sales.

Third, are your warehouse management system (WMS) considerations. If you have an uptick in picks across categories at the warehouse or more activity on the receiving side, then you need to plan for additional labor. Ensuring your warehouse management system is purpose-built for your industry-specific needs is vital to have the visibility required to prepare for demands.

Prepare for shifting produce demand with supply chain management solutions

New Year’s diet resolutions are as predictable as confectionery sales spikes at Easter. Given that eating healthy and diet resolutions top the resolution charts most years, even if you’ve missed this year’s run you can be prepared for next year.  Food distributors and processors need reliable data analytics with purpose-built supply chain management (SCM), OMS and WMS systems in order to prepare for and cope with shifting demand.

By anticipating trends such as this one you can get prepared with the Ignition by TELUS Consumer Goods suite of solutions. Contact us and speak to our supply chain management experts for more information on how and to request a software demonstration.

Ready to get started with Ignition?