One thing the global supply chain and labor situation has driven home is the importance of retailers getting their holiday pie orders in — the sooner the better.
“All of our suppliers are extending their lead times, whether it’s because of shortages of wheat from Ukraine or palm oil from Indonesia, said Tom Cavanaugh, vice president of sales and marketing for West Newbury, Mass.-based Gardner Pie. “We’re telling our customers that there things coming out we don’t know about. Get your orders in.”
Cavanaugh said he likes to give his customers a guarantee that their holiday orders will be filled, but in this environment, he said he’d be lying if he said that.
He said trying to guess where the next supply snafu will come from is almost impossible. Campbell, for instance, recently announced it was having trouble sourcing aluminum for its V8 cans and other products, and beer manufacturers were reporting similar problems. Well, that’s the same aluminum Gardner sources for its pie tins.
Two things are crucial to keep in mind, Cavanaugh said, when planning for this year’s holidays (or six, depending how you’re counting).
“Communicate, communicate, communicate, plan, plan, plan,” he said. “Everybody’s working hard to get better at it.”