How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Food Industry

The food industry is diverse and constitutes several significant components, each one contributing a certain value to the whole food chain. These function to deliver production and sustain consumers’ demands. 

Notably, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has experienced a lot of obstacles in movement, demand, consumption, and compliance to strict policies. It has brought vast shifts to supply chains and prompted organizations to impose new hazard controls. With all of these, food-related companies have to keep up with and cater to these adjustments in order to preserve food security amidst the crisis.

The Impact Of The Pandemic To The Food Industry

In order to keep people safe and protected against infection, there’s been a series of health protocols to be followed. This has brought forth challenges to busines operations, from the hiring process of companies down to the livelihood of suppliers. 

Below is a discussion on how COVID-19 has impacted the food industry. Read on!

  • The Recruitment Adjustments

Today, as borders reopen from lockdown, food businesses and production companies are attempting to regain their spot in the economy. As to not compromise the new safety measures, businesses are advised to go slow and steady with their reopening.

In particular, a large number of employees is needed for these businesses to operate again. To ease up this heightened pressure, food production owners are reaching out to reliable recruitment firms, such as Ag recruiters, to help them source out people to add to their team.

With the new normal, companies are availing the services of recruitment firms to conduct remote screenings for new workers. By performing this process remotely, employers narrow the risk of exposure to all applicants. Likewise, this is now regarded as the new way of evaluating candidates effectively, without compromising anyone’s safety.

  • Increase In Meal Kits And Food Deliveries 

Since the onset of quarantine, a lot of people have become reliant on online food services. 

The online system is just readily accessible and convenient to nearly everyone. With just one click, consumers are able to avail the food they need or crave without going outside.  

With this surging demand, business owners have attempted to stretch their marketing efforts to various social media platforms. The quarantine has provided these food chains the opportunity to seek help from logistics in order to extend their services. This not only saved businesses from financial downfall, but it also guaranteed the jobs of a lot of employees and delivery workers.

  • Change In Consumer Behavior

This pandemic has inevitably influenced the shift of purchasing demand. People has started hoarding and stocking on food for consumption. Due to their longer shelf life, there has been an outpouring demand for packaged, refrigerated, and canned goods. Likewise, staples such as rice, bread, pasta, and the likes have been also high in sales because they’re easy to prepare.

Likewise, more people have been spending their time in the kitchen. For this reason, there have been large requests for baking mixtures and certain ingredients to cook at home.

With all of these, there has been a drop in usual transaction for fresh crops and fisheries. Added with the limited border movement and restaurant closures, the decrease in the sales of these commodities has gone worse.

  • Permanent Closure Of Food Businesses And Branches

During the lockdown, some food-related businesses were unable to cope with the financial losses and hurdles. The sudden closures, conflict in reoperation, and changes in quarantine protocols have all compelled restaurants, pubs, and other food chains to permanently close. 

Independent food chains, like small shops and restaurants, were not able to fully receive sector relief during the quarantine. They may be able to deal and thrive amidst occasional customer drops. However, the crisis brought by this pandemic has led most of them to eventually close.

  • Alarming Surge In Food Waste

Because some establishments decided to permanently close, a massive amount of unused food went to waste. Likewise, the cancellation of food services to events had added to this problem.

Due to this outturn, food banks received overwhelming requests to rescue food. Restaurants started to donate staples and stocks to these food programs. Other catering services took similar action, too. Some have sent employees with fresh vegetables and leftovers that were bound to spoil.

It was ironic how this was the situation for majority of restaurants, while some people from other parts of the globe were suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Unfortunately, this crisis has brought consequences no one’s prepared to handle. 

  • Limited Movement Of Food Due To Strict Borders

Due to the closure of a lot of food establishments, some farmers were left with little to no purchasers for nearly all of their produce. Likewise, trade restrictions and prolonged home confinements have prevented farmers to access markets for purchasing goods and selling their crops.

Although there were outpouring food sales because people started cooking in their own homes, the increase was not adequate to secure all the perishable crops. In addition, exporting crops and other produce was not a regarded alternative. This is because a large sum of these usual international purchasers was struggling through the crisis. Hence, exports were considered futile and unprofitable by large farms. 

Due to all of these, many large farms were compelled to destroy enormous pounds of fresh produce.

The Food Industry’s Domino Effect

The impact of this pandemic to people’s livelihood, their health and our food systems has truly staggered the global supply chains. It is unfortunate how millions of people lost their jobs and how businesses were not able to prepare themselves for the crisis. The abrupt closures of these businesses have created a domino effect among other food-related industries, such as farming, fishing, food and beverage shipping, wine production, and the likes. 

This pandemic has highlighted even more the dependence and interconnection of all these food chains in the industry—the downfall of one leads to the disruption of other sectors.

Final Thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has terribly brought the food industry enormous challenges. It has stirred businesses, livelihoods, and the movement of food supply chain. Fortunately, amidst this unprecedented event, there were food businesses that were able to discern and look for solutions.