Massachusetts grocery store vice president on supply chain challenges this holiday season


Large gatherings are back this holiday season, but with sporadic food and commodity shortages re-emerging, how do you make sure you can feed everyone at the holiday table? We asked a man whose job it is to stock grocery store shelves what he was afraid he might run out of. Arthur Ackles loves his job but hates seeing empty shelves. As vice president of merchandising and purchasing for Roche Brothers, it’s his job to keep shelves stocked, no easy task in this pandemic. “I’ve been with Roche Brothers for 35 years and I’ve seen things for a year and a half that I’ve never seen before,” he said. There will be plenty of turkeys for Thanksgiving, although prices are on the rise and you should order as soon as possible. “You might not be able to get the size you want,” Ackles said. “Bigger turkeys are tough.” But let’s get on with what he’s worried about keeping on the shelves this holiday season. “Pretty much everything,” he said. “Things are sporadic, aren’t they? The supply chain, in general, is fragile.” Ackles says canned food is his main concern. Products like green beans, cream of corn, cranberry sauce and gravy are holiday staples. Still, he says deliveries have been erratic. “If you want cranberry sauce or a specific gravy or gravy that you like, take it while you can,” he said. “We might have it for the holidays, it might be here. But there’s a chance it’ll go out too. So if you see it, my recommendation would be to take it while you’re here. . ” Frozen foods were also sporadically in short supply in area stores. And Ackles pointed out the granola bars section, which had more empty holes than the products available. “It’s kind of a guess,” Ackles said. “It comes in and out and really this business has become a day to day affair of what to expect.” Ackles pointed out that there is a lot of food overall, so there is no need to hoard or buy more than you need.

Large gatherings are back this holiday season, but with sporadic food and commodity shortages re-emerging, how do you make sure you can feed everyone at the holiday table? We asked a man whose job it is to stock grocery store shelves with what he was afraid he might run out of.

Arthur Ackles loves his job but hates seeing empty shelves.

As vice president of merchandising and purchasing for Roche Brothers, it’s his job to keep shelves well stocked, which is no easy task in this pandemic.

“I’ve been with Roche Brothers for 35 years, and I’ve seen things over the past 18 months that I haven’t seen before,” he said.

There will be plenty of turkeys for Thanksgiving, although prices are on the rise and you should order as soon as possible.

“You might not be able to get the size you want,” Ackles said. “Big turkeys are tough.”

But let’s get on with what he’s worried about keeping on the shelves this holiday season.

“Pretty much everything,” he said. “Things are sporadic, right? The supply chain, in general, is fragile.”

Ackles says canned food is his main concern. Products like green beans, cream of corn, cranberry sauce and gravy are holiday staples. Still, he says deliveries have been spotty.

“If you want cranberry sauce or a specific gravy or gravy that you like, take it while you can,” he said. “We might have it for the holidays, it might be here. But there’s a chance it’ll go out too. So if you see it, my recommendation would be to grab it while you’re here. . “

Frozen foods have also been sporadically scarce in area stores. And Ackles pointed out the granola bars section, which had more empty holes than the products available.

“It’s kind of a guess,” Ackles said. “It comes in and out and really this business has become a day to day affair of what to expect.”

Ackles pointed out that there is a lot of food on the whole, so there is no need to pile up or buy more than you need.


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