by Jim Dudlicek / NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs
Rick Brindle, the VP of industry development at Mondelez International, shares his thoughts on the current state of the industry and what the future holds for independent grocers …
- The pandemic, a widespread labor shortage, supply chain issues, high fuel prices and conflict in eastern Europe have created a perfect storm that’s driving inflation. What can be done to ease the pain on grocery operators as well as their customers?
We are all in this together and always want to do our very best for our shoppers. Perhaps now more than ever, we must stay close to each other – communicating, collaborating and solving for whatever comes at us in real time.
- What are your expectations for the coming months?
We are a resilient industry – always have been, always will be. While I do not see the issues subsiding in months, I firmly believe we will get better at working/masking the issues toward serving our shoppers.
- The pandemic seems to be over in the minds of many. How will the experience of the pandemic continue to influence your operations?
Within our company and throughout our industry, we have been laser-focused on keeping our people safe, continuing to serve our shoppers and emerging stronger than we were prior to the pandemic. We have all learned a great deal – about the consumer, our shoppers, our associates and our operations – and have been implementing these learnings across the board. At Mondelēz International, we have invested in new and improved capabilities and partnerships, acquired new businesses, optimized our organization and significantly rationalized our SKU productivity, to name a few.
- What one thing must independent operators do to ensure growth and success?
Continue leading our industry in innovative and relevant ways to serve the shopper. Continue to work closely with your trusted supplier partners to drive breakthrough growth. Continue to execute with excellence!
- What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Hanging out with my family.