Blog > Preparing for incoming Easter trends with food distribution software solutions

Whether from dining on premise or off premise with groceries for at-home meals, Easter creates spikes in demand for specific categories that food distributors, operators and processors need to be prepared for from a supply chain perspective with food distribution software solutions.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Easter Sunday is the fifth busiest dining occasion for restaurants in America, with 14 percent of the population, or close to 50 million people, planning a restaurant meal on Easter Sunday. And these meals out are roughly split between brunch/lunch and dinner, although a reasonable number (17 percent) expect to eat out multiple times on Easter Sunday.

Relevant for retail food operations, nearly half of Americans (48 percent) plan to either celebrate by eating in with their household or having family and friends over for a meal, with a further 23 percent going for a meal at family or friends’ houses.

Predicting incoming food trends

Eggs, eggs and more eggs

Eggs obviously figure largely. Fried, hardboiled, devilled, or decorated, eggs are at the top of consumers shopping lists the week or so prior to Easter. With Easter being the #2 candy occasion in the US calendar after Halloween, food distributors, operators and processors can also expect a surge in chocolate eggs and other holiday themed candies.

We’ve even heard consumers say they get ‘sick of’ eating eggs and egg products in the week after Easter, having to use up all the leftovers. Operations should plan with this information in mind to optimize their supply chain and minimize the risk of overstocks and waste.

Beyond eggs

When planning your supply chain strategy during this time, whether for food distribution, order taking or order making, you can also expect fluctuations in meat consumption due to Good Friday. Some Americans will opt for a day of vegan or pescatarian meals on the Friday prior to Easter day, however, lamb and ham figure largely on restaurant and at-home Easter Sunday menus along with vegetables including potatoes, carrots and peas.

As with any holiday, baked goods become popular as well and the demand for their associated ingredients rises.

How to best prepare for supply chain fluctuations

Now that you know what impending consumer demands are coming your way, what steps should you take next? Easter Sunday this year falls on April 9, so you can expect to see increased demand for the categories above from 26 March onwards. How can you best prepare your supply chain or food distribution processes for the predicted upticks in demand for specific categories?

Enterprise resource planning systems

In order to predict the size of demand for your categories, on what things, with whom, where we suggest looking at your sales for last year in the two weeks prior to Easter.

While an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, makes this easier to review previous years’ sales and provide forecast demand projections for the current year, it’s vital your ERP has the capability to look at your sales in real-time. This is essential so you can adjust on the fly if you see certain categories moving faster, or slower, than projected.

Order management systems

If your ERP is combined with a good order management system (OMS), you can boost sales and support your customers with an integrated advertising and push order capability, such as a popup at checkout that asks, “Do you also want to purchase X?”.

With this capability, you can place the products your customers want to see right in front of them when they want to see it, such as fish, eggs, or ingredients for baked goods. This helping hand towards your customers will improve not only their customer satisfaction with your offerings but also their efficiency, and in turn, your efficiency.

You could even make recipe or ingredient suggestions, such as for baked goods and condiments and complementary products for proteins and vegetables, to customers based on what you’ve seen demand for in previous years for categories with the highest sales spikes.

Warehouse management systems

In terms of scheduling for fluctuations in labor demands, an automated warehouse management system, (WMS) will streamline this process. With an integrated WMS, you can be confident you’re fully equipped to handle upticks in picks across categories at the warehouse, or more activity on the receiving side.

Food distribution software solutions to prep for supply chain impacts

Easter Sunday is an occasion for which you need to have your supply ducks (chickens?) in a row given the increased demand in specific categories. It is also a supply upsell opportunity in both volume (average weight of purchase) and premiumisation. Good data analytics of previous years, coupled with a good OMS will help you leverage increased demand in certain categories.

John Gross & Company implemented ERP, OMS and WMS from TELUS Consumer Goods Supply Chain Management, to solve their problems related to inventory control and mis picks, leading to a significant increase in their sales. The TELUS Consumer Goods Supply Chain Management software suite of solutions work together to drive business results and save you the headache of working with multiple different supply chain software providers for solutions that aren’t smoothly integrated together.

“We implemented ERP, OMS, and WMS from Ignition in August of 2016 and by end of our 2018 financial year, our sales had grown 19.7%. We are absolutely thrilled with the platform.”
Zach Gross, Operations Director

To prepare for incoming demand forecasts and streamline your supply chain operations, select the supply chain management software solution that will fill the gaps in your current software solution and give you the advantage over your competitors.

To learn how our streamlined supply chain management software solutions will directly benefit your operations, connect with a TELUS Consumer Goods supply chain expert or request a software demonstration.

Learn More


Electronic Trading

  • Increase PO accuracy
  • Strengthen partnerships
  • Seamless interface
  • User-friendly reports
  • Extensive data translation
Learn More
Learn More


Direct Store Delivery

  • Multi-platform support
  • Proof of delivery
  • Real-time traffic information
  • Media capture and viewing
  • Asset tracking
Learn More
Learn More


Proof of Delivery

  • Real-time visibility
  • Clean invoice at delivery and A/R
  • Lot, weight, and code date traceability at the unit level
  • Extensive route analysis
  • Collections and payment processing in the field
Learn More
Learn More


Warehouse Management System

  • Increased inventory accuracy and turns
  • Product rotation and code date management
  • Labor management
  • Cycle count management
  • Support for voice, tablets, mobile devices
Learn More
Learn More


Order Management System

  • Multiple sales channels
  • Agnostic device and operating systems
  • Online/Offline
  • Enhanced customer dependency
  • Margin management
Learn More
Learn More


Enterprise Resource Planning

  • Extensive pricing and costing options
  • Integrated deal management
  • Integrated General Ledger
  • Suggested purchasing
  • Production, scheduling, costing and yield management
Learn More
Learn More


GDSN/ Master Data Management

  • Unify and standardize data
  • Synchronize product information
  • Primary management of attributes
  • Product notifications
  • Sales spec sheets
Learn More
Learn More


Analytics & Business Intelligence

  • Predictive analytics
  • Management by Exception (MBE)
  • KPIs integrated into G2 Analytics
  • Business Intelligence application
  • Streamlined access
Learn More

Ready to get started with Ignition?