Consumer demand for healthier and more transparent products is shaking up the entire supply chain, from producers through retailers and foodservice outlets. Sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products topped $11 billion in 2014, while Chipotle Mexican Grill eliminated all GMOs from its offerings as of April 27, reported Denver Post. Companies such as Whole Foods Markets are also moving away from GMO products.
At the same time Tyson Foods Inc. announced an aggressive plan to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in its chickens by 2017, and is working with farmers to remove antibiotics use from beef, pork and turkey as well, reported Reuters. While the decision was influenced by McDonald’s earlier pledge to source antibiotic-free chicken, Tyson officials noted that the move was also a reaction to other unnamed foodservice customers planning to follow suit.
As companies crack down on what sorts of food they offer, the effects could cause a change reaction and stress on the supply chain and affect prices paid by consumers. Chipotle is already dealing with pork shortages, and while it doesn’t plan on raising prices a small increase may be required to fully remove GMO ingredients.