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The second quarters of 2020 and 2021 could not have been more different for Alpha Baking Co., Chicago. While 2020 brought nothing but uncertainty and low volume for the bakery’s foodservice business, 2021 delivered a boom in demand that happened practically overnight. As the vaccines became more widely available, consumers were willing to get out more and breathe new life into foodservice, and it shows no signs of slowing down, according to Mark Marcucci, Jr., national sales director, Alpha Baking Co.

“Consumers have settled into the mindset of ‘this is what the risks are, and this is how we protect ourselves, but at the same time we still need to live our lives,’ ” he said. “It does seem based on the numbers and orders that we’re seeing that the Delta variant has not made an impact on demand.”

In this episode of Since Sliced Bread, Mr. Marcucci shares how Alpha Baking was able to endure the slow period of 2020 and then able to pivot to meet increased orders in 2021. A new emphasis on delivery has also changed what foodservice customers are ordering.

“I do think delivery is here to stay, and that’s something that operators will have to make sure their menu items are well-suited for,” he said.

Listen to this episode to hear Alpha Baking’s experience and the lessons the bakery learned along the way.

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