A vast global transportation network is required by the food industry in order to connect its numerous parts. These include suppliers, manufacturers, warehousing, retailers and the end consumers. There are also companies that add vitamins, minerals, and other necessary requirements during processing to make up for those lost during preparation. Wholesale markets for fresh food products have tended to decline in importance in OECD countries as well as in Latin America and some Asian countries as a result of the growth of supermarkets, which procure directly from farmers or through preferred suppliers, rather than going through markets.
The constant and uninterrupted flow of product from distribution centers to store locations is a critical link in food industry operations. Distribution centers run more efficiently, throughput can be increased, costs can be lowered, and manpower better utilized if the proper steps are taken when setting up a material handling system in a warehouse. 
With populations around the world concentrating in urban areas, food buying is increasingly removed from all aspects of food production. This is a relatively recent development, having taken place mainly over the last 50 years. The supermarket is the defining retail element of the food industry, where tens of thousands of products are gathered in one location, in continuous, year-round supply. Restaurants, Cafes, Bakeries and Mobile trucks are also ways consumers can purchase food.
Food preparation is another area where change in recent decades has been dramatic. Today, two food industry sectors are in apparent competition for the retail food dollar. The grocery industry sells fresh and largely raw products for consumers to use as ingredients in home cooking. The food service industry by contrast offers prepared food, either as finished products, or as partially prepared components for final “assembly”.
Sophisticated technologies define modern food production. They include many areas. Agricultural machinery, originally led by the tractor, has practically eliminated human labor in many areas of production. Biotechnology is driving much change, in areas as diverse as agrochemicals, plant breeding and food processing. Many other areas of technology are also involved, to the point where it is hard to find an area that does not have a direct impact on the food industry. Computer technology is also a central force, with computer networks and specialized software providing the support infrastructure to allow global movement of the myriad components involved.
As consumers grow increasingly removed from food production, the role of product creation, advertising, and publicity become the primary vehicles for information about food. With processed food as the dominant category, marketers have almost infinite possibilities in product creation.
A key tool for FMCG marketing managers targeting the supermarket industry includes national titles like The Grocer in the U.K., Checkout in Ireland, Progressive Grocer in the U.S., and Private Label Europe for the entire of the European Union.it