During the current coronavirus pandemic, many food and beverage processors are worried about the achieving business goals over the next three months. In fact, 66% of food and beverage companies surveyed between April 16 and April 20 indicated they are significantly concerned (rating it between 8 and 10, where 10 represents the highest level of concern), according to an April 22, 2020, Clear Seas Research report titled “Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry, Industry Perspective on the Challenges of Today.”

Clear Seas Research is part of Troy, Mich.-based BNP Media, the parent company of Dairy Foods. The report is the third installment in a series related to food and beverage processing operations during the coronavirus pandemic. (Visit https://tinyurl.com/qvytt64 and https://tinyurl.com/ycj5dq8a to read our coverage of the first and second installments, based on surveys conducted earlier during the pandemic.)

The percentage of respondents expressing significant concern over achieving business results in the next three months is higher than in the second survey, in which 62% expressed such concern.

Although the economy remains the top concern among food and beverage manufacturers, fewer survey respondents — 74% — expressed significant concern about the economy during the third survey period than did during the second (when 80% did so). Other top manufacturing-related concerns include friends/family becoming infected by COVID-19 (67% vs. 72% in the second survey), business stability for the next 12 months (63% vs. 58% in the second survey) and supply chain disruptions (62% vs. 53% in the second survey).

In terms of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on operations, 69% of respondents (vs. 63% in the second survey) indicated that they have seen a decline in new business development activity in comparison to a year ago, while 6% said they have noted no change (vs. 14% in the second survey). A quarter of respondents (25%), meanwhile, reported an increase in new business development activity — vs. 23% in the second survey.

Almost three-quarters of respondents (71%) reported a decline in business spending (vs. 66% in the second survey), while 17% indicated there was no change (vs. 21% in the second survey) — and 13% reported an increase (the same percentage as in the second survey).

The research also showed that 52% of planned business is on schedule (vs. 53% in the second survey), while 30% has been delayed (vs. 27% in the second survey) and 18% has been canceled (vs. 20% in the second survey). In terms of active business, 54% of respondents (vs. 60% in the second survey) said it was on schedule. Almost a quarter of respondents (22%) said it was delayed (vs. 19% in the second survey), and 23% said it was cancelled (vs. 21% in the second survey).

To download the report, visit https://www.clearseasresearch.com/product/food-beverage-manufacturing-ipct-report-fieldwork-april-16-20-2020/.