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1 year ago

The Partnership no. 18

Trends Coronavirus

Trends Coronavirus affects society, consumption, sales channels and supply chain “The coronavirus is a disruptive phenomenon,” says market analyst Hans Verwegen. “Trends that were always perceived as relatively stable have been or are being broken. We need to get used to a new reality which is slowly but surely taking shape.” In this article we look at the impact the coronavirus is having on four areas relevant to the fruit and vegetable product chain: society, the consumer, sales channels and the supply chain. Society Among other things, Covid-19 has resulted in a new or increased awareness of the vulnerability of our own health and that of other people. “With social interactions restricted, we have literally been confined to our own immediate surroundings,” Verwegen explains. “We have suddenly been confronted with the negative consequences of globalisation. You can’t look at the rapid and ferocious spread of the coronavirus in isolation from our strongly globalised society in which people and goods move across large distances rapidly and in huge numbers. By focusing more on what is nearby and familiar to us, we can keep alien threats at bay for longer.” Companies and organisations are now also paying more attention to their vulnerabilities in times of pandemics. How do you organise your work if many employees are forced to stay at home or if your customers can no longer visit you in person, or vice versa? What partners should you choose to ensure you are less at the mercy of border closures? What do official measures mean for your sales channels and how can you anticipate them? Consumer One of the most visible and immediate consequences is consumers’ shopping behaviour. “People are shopping more carefully. We aren’t going to the shops as often as we did, we are buying larger quantities at each visit and we are looking out for special offers more. Online shopping has been given a massive boost, particularly in the under-45 age group. Unsurprisingly, older people are changing their buying behaviour less.” With many people having to sit at home for several months – even if they are continuing to work – people are spending more time cooking healthy meals from scratch. If you can’t go out to eat, this is a good way of combining providing quality food for the family and spending quality time with them. “This has given sales of fresh produce a boost, both via physical channels and in particular online,” the market analyst notes. According to Kantar, 13.5% of fruit and vegetable sales in the UK in July were online. This could have been even higher had the supply capacity kept up with the sudden change in demand. “Frozen food is also selling well. With people going shopping less often, sales of more perishable 12 | The Partnership The Partnership | 13

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