As the impact of COVID-19 continues to expand, we’re living in a state of emergency. And if you’ve walked into a grocery store in the last few days, then you know how rapidly things are changing. Across the nation, stores are selling out of staples like beans, rice, and other healthy, shelf-stable grains. Household supply aisles have been decimated, and suddenly frozen veggies aren’t just for icing gym injuries. Even Amazon has been overloaded, recently announcing they’ll funnel their resources into shipping only medical supplies and household staples.

As Americans stock up to hunker down, they’re stretching supply chains across the nation to their limit. This presents us with a unique opportunity. Suddenly, direct-to-consumer brands like Northerly have a chance to step in and fill the gaps—and we couldn’t be more ready. 

Direct-to-consumer supply chains

When we originally wrote about the benefits of selling oats directly to you, the consumer, we never could have imagined a “global pandemic” would one day top the list. But at a time when superstores like Whole Foods, Safeway, and Albertsons look like something out of a sci-fi movie, we still have bags of food ready to ship out. In fact, we’ve got over 35,000 pounds of rolled oats in stock, with 80,000 more on the way from our farm.

Why rolled oats?

As Americans take steps to practice responsible social distancing and self-quarantine, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released recommendations for how to stock up. Among those recommendations are shelf-stable and nutrient-rich staples, such as legumes, whole-wheat pasta, and grain like oats. But this isn’t just for emergency prep. In fact, the CDC recommends that we always have two weeks of supplies available at any time, in case of emergency.

So why choose rolled oats? They’re shelf-stable, pack a nutrient punch, and are versatile. 

Shelf-stable

Our rolled oats are minimally-processed, meaning they don’t contain any additives or preservatives. And, when stored in an airtight container in a dry, cool place, they’ll stay fresh in your pantry for up to 18 months. As the social distancing recommendations continue to change, oats are an excellent option for every pantry.

Nutrient-dense

Not only are oats one of the only sources of beta-glucan, they’re also full of essential vitamins and minerals like selenium, magnesium, and zinc. These vitamins and minerals are known immune-boosters that support your body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Versatile

How many single ingredients have as many possibilities as oats? You can enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, or grab a shaker of overnight oats before you head to your in-home gym. You can use oats for baking projects with the kids while they’re home from school. Or get creative and make oat milk or oat flour. However you choose to prepare them, you’ll be getting the same nutritional benefits.

So how are we getting oats to you?

Alright, you might be saying, How do I get my hands on a bag? Even with the disruptions to traditional supply chains, we’re working hard to get our sustainably-grown rolled oats into kitchens across the nation. Our CEO, Clayton, has been working around the clock to fulfill direct-to-you orders, and our oats at Amazon are still in-stock and available for Prime delivery.

We’re also working with independent grocers and markets to make sure their shelves are well-stocked with sustainable oats. Whether they’re looking for bulk or wholesale, we’ve got the capability to fill orders. 

Also, thanks to the steps we’ve taken to sell directly to consumers, we’re able to fill orders quickly, getting oats from our warehouse to your local markets in a week or less. If you have a market you’d like us to connect with, let them know about us! During this time of uncertainty, we’re on the lookout for new ways to get people the food they need.

How COVID-19 is changing our approach

We built Northerly on giving back. From the beginning, we’ve known that we wanted to donate three servings of oats for every 2 lb bag we sold. Initially, we’d planned on completing donations on a semi-annual basis. But with recent developments, our hunger relief partners are taking a hit. Not only is the demand for food increasing, but fewer volunteers are putting in fewer hours. Without that volunteer power, food banks are struggling to pack and distribute emergency relief kits.

To help our hunger relief partners continue to serve their communities, we’ll be donating every month for the foreseeable future. This will allow them to continue providing shelf-stable, nutritious oats to the families and individuals they feed. 

Connecting people and farmers

Our direct-to-consumer farm has a huge stock of sustainably grown oats. And we’re eager to help feed this country without the red tape and delays that big-name grocers have to deal with. Whatever it takes, we’ll provide it. We were founded on the principles of helping and giving back, and now more than ever, we’re poised to do so.