COVID-19 Impact on Super Foods in the Food and Beverage Industry
The outbreak of the coronavirus across the world has affected badly which includes population and also the economy. It has been estimated by IMF that the crises have led the economy growth down by 3.0% in the year of 2020. They have also stated that this is “far worse” condition when compared to the 2009 global financial crises.
The main reason for the economy got down is that the various industry sectors have been affected with this pandemic in which one of them is super foods market. When the outbreak took place and cases started increasing across the world, the governing authorities took decisions of lockdown in order to avoid further spread. Due to the lockdown, the supply and demand chain got affected and the market for the super foods decreased during the start of the 2020.
Super foods include various products such as berries, fish, leafy greens and many others. Due to the lockdown, the final products were not reaching to the customers.
Further, governing authorities allowed for essential products marketing in the super foods market. The super foods come under essential products. In the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are now more focused towards essential products, hence, it is one of the demanding sector at present. A super food boosts immune system and also maintains health of consumers. Sitting at home, the consumers are getting more awareness regarding the health foods to immunize themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the high demand, now growers and processors of fruits and vegetables are more focused towards nutritional daily essentials products. For instance, people have started buying huge amounts of shelf stable and processed food. This has led to the high demand for canned beans, fruit and vegetables. The demand for the small cans having processed fruits and vegetables are high from the retail sector, whereas, from the food services sector, the demand is decreased as lockdown doesn’t allow people to go out.
Due to high demand, there is pressure on producers and processors for providing the products in the super foods market as there is shortage of labor in the industry due to pandemic. For instance, in Philippines, people are locked in their homes or houses. This action has halted the production and delivery of desiccated coconut and dehydrated bananas and others fruits and vegetables.
The demand is high but somewhere supply chain issues may restrict the super foods market growth at this period of time. For instance, logistics sector reported that it is facing problems in finding enough truck drivers. Also, the industry sector has stated that the restrictions on sea transporters and the lack of air freight are a major problem for exporters from developing countries.
Also, in Europe region, there are transport delays of the products. Internal border controls are causing long waiting times of up to 18 hours. To provide the ease of food supply in the super foods market, the European Food Safety Authority is about to introduce alternative checks.
For instance, the authorities may take decision of accepting digital copies of documents via phones.
Manufacturers are now focusing on collaborating with e-commerce sector to deliver the products to doorsteps of consumers.
• LVL Life, a Singapore-based company have seen sales surge during the COVID-19 outbreak with rising consumer demand for its plant-based super food powder blends. The company has taken strategic decision of e-commerce introduction for getting success in selling products in the super foods market.
At present, the super foods demand is high as it helps to maintain the health of consumers and mainly demand from retail sector is high. But, in future once the pandemic situation is under control, the demand for the super foods will increase as food services sector also will get combined and will enhance the super foods market growth as in previous times or may also grow more depending on the consumer behavior.
SUPER FOODS MANUFACTURERS: PERSPECTIVE AND INITIATIVES
The COVID-19 pandemic have drastically changed the food consumption pattern of the living being, which is counted as 8 out of 10 people have changed their ways of eating habits and have incorporated nutritional enriched food products in their day-to-day life. For instance, According to the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2020 Food and Health Survey, 85% of Americans have made changes in the food they eat or how they prepare food because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Super foods concept and their consumption have been increased and the innovation in the product development such as super food blended premixes and their utilization in form of beverages gets increased. Various manufacturers have stated in the upsurge of the sales of super food blends and premixes in this pandemic situation.
The burst of pandemic panic complements a steady rise in healthy food consumption and their sales that investors have largely overlooked amid the financial debacles of better-known super food and blends with exceptional nutritional ingredients.
“LVL Life have three blends, all formulated from plant-based super food ingredients, all vegan-friendly and all super formulated to meet specific functions and needs for a person throughout the day, LVL Life observed sales of Natural Immunity+ doing better during the recent COVID-19 outbreak due to the rising demand for immunity boosters and supplements, and we’re just glad and fortunate that our retail format is primarily via ecommerce which has proven super-resilient even during these times.”
_ Avinash Aswani, Co-Founder_ LVL Life Singapore
E-commerce platform and companies initiatives to opt the online service to deliver their product and establishing a new platform to secure the consumers health have boosted the sales of super food.
“While the long-term shift in e-commerce is still unknown, it’s likely that the channel will continue to be in high demand,”
_ FoodBytes, Super Food Manufacturers
“With all that’s going on, with the coronavirus, there is a piece that we can control and that is our own health and building our immune system because it depends on what we eat. It’s super important to have a lot of micronutrients now, so Super foods can help. We have this amazing immunity bundle – super greens to up your green, mellow yellow which really reduces your stress because [stress] actually reduces your immunity, and then we also have immunity boosting mushrooms in our magic mushroom mix.”
_ Superfoods, Inc., U.S.
Various super food manufacturers have initiated programs to help the corona warriors by providing the food support.
“Qsai Co., Ltd. Health supports for medical institutions due to the impact of the new coronavirus-providing our kale products nationwide free of charge with thanks and respect, “WESUPPORT” platform is created to help the corona warriors by providing food support.”
_ Qsai Co., Ltd., Japan
Source: Company Websites, Magazines, Nutrition Journals, Portals
As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, the food and beverage industry has been significantly impacted by reduced consumption and disrupted supply chains. With regulatory norms around social distancing across multiple nations, reduced social gatherings were expected to impact the several sub-sectors of the food industry to a high extent, while the few industries have gained future growth opportunities. Super foods is one such sector of the food industry, wherein through the sector was initially impacted owing to the pandemic, the future growth opportunities have been boosted with the circumstances.
While there has been a rage among consumers on hygiene to fight corona, there has also been increasing awareness on the immunity boosting properties of food ingredients. Diet is one of the crucial factors considered by all consumers in the recent times with greater emphasis on ingredients with health properties. This has created multiple opportunities for super foods across the globe.
The wide range of super foods available in each country is explored and manufacturers have been claiming the use of these super foods as a core ingredient to position their products as healthy during the pandemic times. The consumption of a type of super foods is highly region specific, wherein Japan promotes use of matcha green tea as a super food, while in India, spices such as turmeric and cloves have been gaining importance. The health benefits conferred by berries have been known across North America and Europe, owing to which there has been a sudden surge in their demand.
The demand for super foods has not only been gaining pace in the developed nations, but with the augment of COVID-19, and awareness on healthy diet, consumers from developing nations have also contributed to the rising demand. The growth potential for the super foods market has grown, manifold and is expected to be boosted further in the future, owing to the awareness programs structured by national governments to promote super foods in daily diet. Also, food manufacturers have been innovating new products including these super food ingredients to position and brand them as healthy food.
Though the supply chain disruption has been creating the few challenges for the super foods market in current times, this impact of pandemic would be short-lived for the super foods sector across the globe, as compared to other food sectors, and hence a stable growth can be observed in the industry during coming years, with many opportunities of new products development for the manufacturers.