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Fine Foods Quarterly - April/May '20

Fine Foods Quarterly - April/May '20

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

I haven’t consumed one meal that I haven’t prepared myself in over two months.  That is really not that unusual for me since I do enjoy preparing great meals.  I have also spent more money on groceries during this time period that I have in a long time.  I am not alone in this realization, I have many friends and neighbors who have echoed that sentiment.  The grocery stores must be experiencing unprecedented sales right now as consumers are getting acquainted once again with their home kitchens.  They are experimenting with new recipe ideas, and trying new food products.  They are making lunch for their school children that would normally be buying lunch at school everyday.  In short, consumer behavior has been turned upside down, and old habits have been wiped clean.

Consumers have had to significantly adjust their buying habits and preferences in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Food shortages have created a buying environment where consumers have been forced to buy substitute products that they otherwise would not have demanded.  Beggars can’t be choosers as they say, which has led to a rare seller’s market.  Prices have edged upwards, leaving some much needed extra margin to help offset increased operating costs for both retailers and the suppliers.  What this means for brands that are fortunate to have products on the shelves is that new consumer trials are at an all time high, accelerating the velocity of new products into the channel.  If you have a great new product right now, I think that consumers are going to discover it a lot quicker, and hopefully continue to buy it.

Selling food products these days doesn’t come without plenty of challenges.  If there is a potential “winner” in all of this uncertainty, it would have to be the food industry.  When the dust settles, and the dark clouds pass onwards, the silver lining will be a period of sustained growth in the retail food business as the distribution system returns to normal.  Keep up the good work, and be rewarded.

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