Change in Food Distribution Industry Post-Pandemic

food in convenience store

In March of 2020, the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic—bringing to light a series of systemic problems that impacted the everyday consumer. In order to avoid the problems we faced in 2020 with restrictions on workers, changing demands of the consumer, food shortages, stockpiling behaviors, and supply chain issues, the food distributors had to make some drastic changes. This article briefly reviews how food distribution companies have changed in the post-pandemic world.


The first two steps in the food supply chain are the food processors and manufacturers. Processors are responsible for growing the food. Manufacturers are responsible for packaging the food or utilizing it in recipes. For a more in-depth look at the food supply chain, read our article How the Grocery Supply Chain Works.

When it comes to processors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken a number of steps to provide new options and opportunities for farmers and local/regional food processors. This includes relief programs for agricultural businesses as well as initiatives for urban agriculture and organic agriculture production. The hope is that through these programs, farmers will be able to produce and sell produce locally. This would diversify the locations where stores could purchase food from. 

When it comes to the manufacturers, a variety of initiatives have been introduced to encourage manufacturing companies to make the health of the employee a priority and invest in independent food processing. The goal is that through these programs, companies will create a safer environment for workers to avoid factory shut-downs and provide manufacturers with a direct line to the food they utilize. 

Food Distributors

The next step in the supply chain is the distribution of manufactured or processed goods. This overall goal is to shorten the supply chain thus creating a more distributed, local capacity. By shortening the supply chain food distributors will have access to more locally produced food, and producers will be able to reach consumers in the area. These programs will provide local food business centers that provide regional producers access to a number of unreachable markets. This includes farm-to-school initiatives as well as the prevention of food waste.


In the retail industry, the main concern is meeting the demands of consumers. Due to various social issues, consumers are becoming more eco-conscious. Today’s consumers are looking for ways to shop local, reduce their carbon footprint, and eat more nutritious options. In order to meet these demands, retailers/wholesalers are focusing on providing local and healthier food options by partnering with regional food distribution companies

These needs are met through initiatives that award retailers and markets that offer nutritious and local options to underserved populations. This includes schools, low-income communities, seniors, etc. Also, this benefits these populations as well as the local farmers while offering a more eco-conscious alternative to consumers. 

Atlantic Dominion Providing Food Distribution Service in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Atlantic Dominion is a regional distributor serving Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We provide retailers with regional options for products and work to support our local communities. With over 100+ years of experience, we are no stranger to the changing needs of the distribution industry. That means we are prepared to take on this newest challenge and will continue to provide our customers with the highest quality products they have come to expect. If you are looking for a distribution partner, why not consider working with Atlantic Dominion Distributors? We pride ourselves on our superior customer service, products, and food service. 

Discover the advantage of working with an experienced distributor—contact us today.