Unsung Heroes of the Summer Fun Supply Chain
At last: Summer is (unofficially) here. While generally considered a time to let our cares melt away until Fall, there is a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure your summer delivers all the fun in the sun you expect. We found five examples of supply chain challenges hiding in your summer R&R.
- Memorial Day weekend kicks off pool season – and thank goodness! There are 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States, according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). Keeping those pools sparkling requires a variety of chemicals – chlorine, algae control, water clarifiers and testing kits. This makes a seasonal inventory management challenge for the municipalities charged with keeping these pools safe and clean.
- National Watermelon Month won’t officially kick off until July, but we bet the pink treat will grace more than a few picnic tables this weekend. Watermelon grows year-round in Mexico, and seasonally in 44 states. Shifting supply and seasonal demand means matching melons with buyers is a supply chain feat!
- You have probably heard that it takes 1 oz. of sunscreen (about a shot glass full) to properly protect skin from sun exposure. When you consider how often you’ll need to reapply if you plan to spend a full day at the pool or beach, those 8 oz. bottles get empty pretty fast. Americans will spend hundreds of millions on sunscreen this summer – and retailers want to make sure they manage inventories carefully to get their piece of the pie.
- Beer and summer go together like flip-flops and Jimmy Buffet. So it’s no surprise that about a third of annual beer sales take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But as beer drinkers become more adventurous – and craft-brew-style flavor combos become increasingly popular – stocking the shelves with the beers people want to buy becomes a bigger challenge.
- Summer is, without question, the season of ice cream. The average American consumes 22 pounds of frozen deliciousness every year – much of it during the summer months. Ice cream manufacturers begin ramping up production in March and April to meet demand, with production peaking in June and trailing off at the end of August.