COVID-19 Impact on Pharmaceutical Packaging in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Food in Food and Beverages Industry

  • Food & Beverage
  • Jul 05, 2021

COVID-19 Impact on Food in Food and Beverages Industry

INTRODUCTION

The food and beverage industry includes restaurants, cafeterias, cafés, fast-food joints, pubs, delis, food manufacturing operations, catering businesses, food transportation services, and more. Work in this industry can range from transporting, packaging to preparing and serving food or beverages. In the food and beverage industry, every producer has experienced crises due to pandemic situations. The COVID-19 has mixed outcomes for food manufacturers in developing countries. The impact of COVID-19 on the food and beverage industry can be seen in the product portfolios offered by manufacturers in the food and beverage market.

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON FOOD INDUSTRY

Food is a necessary part of life, providing us with the nutrients we need to survive; however, the pandemic has thrown the entire food system into disarray. Lack of adequate food, coupled with labor shortages, fragmented supply chains, and fear of health risks, could result in a lack of proper nutrition and food scarcity. As a result, the concerned authorities should take various preventative measures to mitigate the harmful effects on the food system.

Before the pandemic, Americans spent more money on dining out than they did on groceries. Consumers reassessed their behaviors, particularly their eating and buying habits, as the 2020 lockdowns brought this streak to a halt, posing new challenges for the food industry. Many people, for example, switched to fresher, healthier foods and reduced their consumption of processed meat. In the food industry, unprecedented demands have been imposed on retailers and suppliers. This results from extended lockdown in many regions and limitations on the movement of goods, causing out-of-home consumption to change in-home.

Manufacturers that use just-in-time inventory strategies have experienced stock shortages and have had to respond quickly. Other shifts in customer buying patterns have occurred in the last eight or nine months that usually take years to manifest. The adoption of online grocery shopping has accelerated, putting more pressure on the industry to reshape and handle distribution and manufacturing. Food producers have invested millions of dollars on personal protective equipment and other equipment to handle social distancing within factories, where they are also well-versed in handling production to strict hygiene and safety requirements. However, despite this investment, food factories worldwide have become hotspots for the virus, especially in sectors like meat, where employees work closely together.

Moreover, labor shortages and plant closures also hampered production at a variety of food manufacturers. Any of the improvements we saw in 2020 will only be temporary. On the other hand, some are here to stay and will have a major effect on food manufacturers in the coming years.

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

Agricultural development, postharvest handling, packaging, distribution/retail/service, and consumption are the five stages of the food supply chain. In terms of food quality and protection, the food supply chain employs two processes. The first is focused on laws and regulations that use mandatory requirements that government agencies review. The second method is to focus on voluntary guidelines set by market laws or international organizations. Food employee health problems, personal hygiene, use of personal protective equipment such as helmets and gloves, sanitization of surfaces and working areas, safe handling/preparation/delivery of food, and maintaining social distance are all examples of safety measures to ensure the consistency of food flow in each point.

The supply chain affects not only manufacturers, distributors, and customers but also labor-intensive food processing plants. Many plants' production was decreased, stopped, or temporarily halted due to workers who were found to be COVID-19 positive.

COVID-19 has impacted the supply chain the most as due to the lockdown in the several countries the import and export from different nation become difficult and also the demand has reduced which has impacted the demand of the food products in the market. Several plant implementations have gone on hold, and also transportation of the food items from one nation to another is very difficult due to these situations.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES DURING COVID-19

Food producers' unwillingness to discuss the changes that could arise over the next few years maybe because they would be the ones most affected. Because of the potential for job losses, there might be some reluctance to talk publicly.

Following the COVID-19, food producers are required to prioritize health and safety as well as worker well-being. Factories, where social distancing and other protective measures are more difficult to enforce, have become hotbeds for the virus, so factories are looking at various options to ensure worker safety while keeping production moving.

 The pandemic has forced all food manufacturers to reassess and introduce new processes to ensure that they remain operational while ensuring the health and safety of their workers. Various manufacturers have also recently introduced data management platforms that help track and test each employer's health and safety.

For Instance:-

  • Kerala, one of the first states in India to be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, set a precedent for the rest of the world. Kerala's Chief Minister acted quickly to reduce the risk of hunger and malnutrition among the state's poorest residents
  • The government has declared a one-month free ration for all, which means that low-income families will receive 35 kilograms of rice
  • Kerala's government has gone above and beyond by distributing food kits containing 16 items specified in the below table worth INR 1000 to every household, regardless of income level, beginning on 8th April 2020

S.NO

Food Items

Quantity

1

Sugar

1kg

2

Tea

250g

3

Beans

1kg

4

Coconut oil

500ml

5

Sunflower oil

1L

6

Atta

1kg

7

Cornflour

1kg

8

Chilly powder

100g

9

Coriander powder

100g

10

Dal

250g

11

Turmeric powder

100g

12

Fenugreek seeds

100g

13

Mustard

100g

14

Urad dal

1kg

15

Chickpeas

1kg

16

Soaps

2no.

CONCLUSION

Today the spread of the novel coronavirus has triggered significant market damage across the world. Most businesses have stopped immediately, and the effect of the pandemic on food manufacture is not yet clear. The towns are closed down, and social distancing has become a modern norm.

The government, along with the private sector, can play a vital role in reviving the sector. The government is attending to the large financing needs arising from COVID-19; the private sector can take care of large investments and expertise required for the power sector in developing countries. Apart from this, strong engagement with governments and local stakeholders will continue to contribute significantly to the development of the industry.

Several manufactures closed the factory due to heavy losses. Companies are taking strategic action to increase the food demand in the market and increase their revenues. The government also introduces many polices and initiatives that would help manufacturers maintain stable growth in current dynamic situations.