(Photo courtesy atlanticrow.co.uk)
If you’re a fan of mint-flavored Oreos, I’ve got some bad news. Mondelez and other big food companies are making fewer varieties of their most popular brands (like Oreo) because of manufacturing changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Some context: As shoppers continue to stock up on food to eat at home, many items are selling out more quickly than they used to. To help keep up with the sudden increase in demand, food and beverage companies sped up production lines on their most popular items (Think: Lay’s Classic Potato Chips) — but that meant cutting back on their more… ~~bizarre~~ unconventional products (Think: Lay’s Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle Potato Chips.)
Manufacturing plants for major food companies typically have to pause their production lines to switch out the product and packaging when they go from making Cinnamon Toast Crunch to Lucky Charms, for example. Making fewer products is one way to simplify and speed up the supply chain.
“We began streamlining our portfolio in early March, when we saw demand spike to unprecedented levels,” said Frito-Lay Chief Customer Officer Mike Del Pozzo. “To keep products in stock at the pace they were selling and to get more product to market faster, we reduced assortment of our core brands.”
But don’t fret, companies will likely go back to producing their ~funkier~ flavors in time for pumpkin spice season. According to David Driscoll, an analyst covering packaged food at DD Research, big food companies are expecting to resume production of their full range of products in the second half of the year. Till then, it’s back to the basics.