The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people all over the world. In a very short period of time, it has created a critical situation which includes social and economic challenges. While the medical sector has deep focus on the development successful medicine or medical treatments, many countries and governing authorities have taken certain steps to prevent and control the spread of the virus. These steps also include lockdown and that result into changes to working patterns such as extended loss of jobs or increase in working hours. Also with lockdown, the market largely gets an impact on the purchase, preparation, supply and consumption of food.
Pre Covid-19 Impact
The healthy foods sector has also got an impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy foods are one of the demanding products in the market as it helps consumer to protect against malnutrition and also from various disease. Increased population is the main reason for the demand for healthy foods such as fruit and vegetable, ready to eat meals, snacks and many others.
These healthy products demand is increasing worldwide due to its multiple benefits and governing authorities have also set specific guidelines for to put specific nutrition into their diet. Hence consumption for the food is increasing due to which it is becoming one of the demanding products in food sector.
Further the European imports of cereal-based food preparations in 2018 were also high which is shown in the below graph.
The demand was high till the end of the year of 2019, then pandemic came and caused critical situation in the market and led into supply and demand chain disruption.
Post Covid-19 Impact
During the start month of 2020, corona spread took place and it resulted into lockdown in city, courtiers. These typical measures included social distancing, closing hotels, schools, restaurants and many other places such as stores. Due to shut down in the store facility and also transportation there was lack in the products in market for consumers.
Also, international borders were made closed which limited the supply of food products such and convenience and health foods. And because of this food supply chains were completely broken or drastically changed with food business. Consumers were not getting their food products and manufacturer was not getting enough raw materials to for the production of healthy foods. Due to these reasons, demand and the market value for the healthy foods were decreasing.
As with the strict measures, the governing authorities reopened the transportation facilities and shops and many others. Again the shelves in the shops are fulfilled with the food products and consumers are now able to get their choice of desired need.
Further manufacturers have taken few initiatives from their end by taking strict measures for the production of food products. Due to reopening of the supply chain has helped the consumers and manufacturer to get fulfilled with desired need. And now the demand for the healthy foods will increase with much high percent as it enhances the immunity of an individual.
The immunity enhancement during the pandemic is much more needed, hence it has seen that eating habits of consumers are getting changed and they are now more inclined towards the healthy food products. It has also been estimated that consumer preference for the fruit intake has increased by 58.0%, protein intake by 37.0% and many others.
Increasing awareness regarding immunity building by consuming healthy food has increased the demand for the products and now consumers want to increase their health in order to increase the immunity and reduce the vulnerability of the disease and the illness.
Further also the demanding will increase in the future as consumers have now more aware that how much healthy food is important to fight with various diseases and this will be help the healthy food sector to grow at very high rate in the market in upcoming future.
The COVID-19 pandemic have drastically changed the food consumption pattern of the living being, which is counted as 8 out 10 people have changed their ways of eating habits and have incorporated nutritional enriched food products in their day to day life.
“In recent months UK food and drink manufacturers have shown their ability to tackle unprecedented challenges with innovation and boldness. These awards shine a light on the incredible hard work and talent that's happening right across the industry. No doubt we'll continue to face challenges, but our food and drink manufacturing will ensure the UK remains a global leader in exporting these goods. We're thrilled to support the awards again and to celebrate an industry which is so integral to our economy.”
“Retailers have worked really hard to guarantee our food supply during the ongoing health crisis and their role in shaping people’s diets and health has never been more apparent,”
“We know that many families struggle to access healthy, affordable food, and that COVID-19 has deepened existing inequalities in children’s diets. Commercial organizations - including food retailers - play a huge role in shaping what young people eat and improving children’s access to nutritious food.”
“There’s a growing demand from governments to tackle the issue of obesity and a consumer trend towards healthier products. Sugar taxes, like the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in the UK, are being implemented around the world and it’s likely other measures will follow. Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic is also showing that people with obesity linked conditions are more likely to super serious complications. Health is emerging as a key investment risk,”
“The pandemic exposed how important nutrition is for the body, especially when it comes to the immune system. People are more conscious of the type of food they consume,”
“We are definitely seeing the pendulum swing towards healthy snacks across APAC. Consumers are becoming more aware of calories, sugar, and salt consumption because they are listening to their peers, and hearing about the health risk factors of diabetes and obesity,”
“Consumers today demand healthier food options, including healthier snacks. This can range from snacks without artificial additives and preservatives or with less sodium or salt, non-fried or baked snacks or use of healthier ingredients like wholegrain.”
“Consumers are also becoming more health conscious in general and the pandemic prompted even more to be aware of their health and lifestyles, Apart from learning and increasingly preparing their own meals at home, the growing availability of healthy snacks, organic and low-fat food options is also something appreciated by consumers.”
“If you look at functional foods, there is a trend towards increasing nutrient density in foods which are already considered healthy, Especially in Asia; the customers want to come out with new line extensions. Innovation will remain a focus for many customers as they are looking to come out ahead in the marketplace,”
With the demand of the nutritional enriched fortified supplements and functional food the supply and value chain have been disrupted due to the pandemic.
“Companies were mostly clearing their warehouse stocks, instead of investing in capacity building to meet the heightened demand for plant extracts, especially those that confer immune benefits. Even if the demand is big, the factories are not willing to increase their investments for capacity building. This means that production capacity will not see a significant increase,”
“At least 20% to 30% of the orders received across the member companies cannot be filled due to supply chain problems, and so many of us are getting for a slot to ship out our products,”
“We’re sure the growth might be even higher, but unfortunately we ran out of stocks for some products, and are moving quickly to replace these stocks. Productions of immune-related products have been busier than ever, both with our own brands, as well as our OEM clients. “
“It is a product geared towards those who believe in preventative health, and living a long and healthy life,”
COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the global population and economy. A collaborative effort on governments, public health departments, and hospital fraternity to fight the coronavirus has led to economic slowdowns, global lockdowns, and extreme public safety measures. The public health measures include creating awareness about home quarantine measuring, maintaining food and healthcare supply, especially to the poor are being strictly followed by governments across the world. With rising awareness in consumers regarding immunity boosting to avoid the prevalence of COVID-19 is driving the market for healthy food industry.
Moreover, taking into consideration the consumer demand manufacturers are claiming their products as healthy with various added ingredients for immunity boosting. However, the delay caused due to effect on logistic industry shows reduced supply of raw materials and hence there is a limited supply of these products in the market which is restraining this market. Consumers have become more conscious toward home food and therefore searching for more healthy options, driving the market for healthy food products. Due increasing prevalence of COVID-19 and consumers awareness for boosting immunity with no additional supplements is estimated to grow the market for healthy food in coming years.