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Food and beverage companies

How the Global Food and Beverage Sector Will Change Post COVID-19: Lessons from China’s recovering F&B Industry

For several months China’s food and beverage companies bore the brunt of demand-supply adversities due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has also had a severe impact on the global supply chain, foodservice sector, commodity prices, and demand for essential and non-essential products, especially after some of the major cities in China went into complete lockdown. As China enters the recovery phase after months of battling the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, the food and beverage sector companies in China have started to resume operations. However, the food and beverage sector in the country is far from going back to the normalcy as it was before the crisis, much has changed in the consumer approach to the F&B sector. We’re seeing the activities across the value chain take a different direction. From the introduction of automated, contactless sales amidst the rising food safety concerns to safe online purchasing and offline food delivery involving ‘no touch’ technology, the industry seems to be dancing to a very different tune. As a result, food and beverage companies in China are rolling out new initiatives to meet the seismic shift in consumer purchasing behavior.  

In this article, food and beverage industry experts at Infiniti Research examine the changing consumer habits in China about what they eat and how food and beverage companies across the world will soon be faced with similar challenges.

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New Trends Global Food and Beverage Companies Can Expect

Provide easy-to-prep meal options

As food service companies shut shop during the COVD-19 outbreak, there has been an increased spike in the demand for canned foods in China over the past few months. However, due to the prolonged nature of the existing crisis, consumers are now seeking to explore more nutritious options apart from canned or frozen. A recent analysis by experts at Infiniti Research shows that consumers in China are gravitating towards in-home products as compared to canned or frozen foods. Food manufacturers can take this as an opportunity to explore new avenues of business and invest into introducing easy-to-prep meals to suit changing consumer demands.

Increasing concerns over product safety

Consumers are now highly aware of the importance of hygiene and food safety. Food and beverage manufacturers across the globe must consider technological advancements like blockchain to enhance visibility and transparency into their supply chain. As consumers begin to become more cautious about the safety of the food products that they consume, allowing ample visibility and transparency can help gain and retain consumer trust in the brand.

Increased popularity of online buying

A notable trend in China post the pandemic is that a greater number of the elderly population are resorting to online buying platforms than ever before. Known to be less tech-savvy, this group of the population needs to have an easy-to use interface and clear images and easy to read product descriptions in order to fuel the trend and increase the popularity of food delivery among this group of the population.

Want more insights on how the food and beverage sector will change in your region post the pandemic and how your business can stay prepared? Request a free proposal from our industry experts.

Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus Outbreak: Strategies for CEOs to Navigate the Covid-19 Crisis

In just a small span of time, the coronavirus outbreak has had a major impact worldwide. While some organizations have managed to find ways to maintain productivity, others are still struggling to ensure business continuity. With the fast-changing global situation resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, market activities are disrupted on many levels. Today, consumers are compelled to use online services to fulfill their daily needs, putting many industries under pressure. Also, the government initiatives such as ‘lockdown’ and ‘social distancing’ have taken a direct hit on the transportation and travel industry comprising of hotels, tourist spots, and resorts. Besides, as the cases of infected individuals surge rapidly, business leaders are under great pressure. This compels them to assess the potential risks and act with rapid response solution. To help save your business from the ongoing crisis, our market research experts have outlined critical strategies that business leaders must consider to navigate through the covid-19 crisis.

Strategies for Business Continuity Planning During COVID-19

Secure liquidity

During this crisis, a major challenge for small and medium-sized businesses is access to capital. As revenues take a hit during this period, organizations will need to keep running business operations at lower costs. This majorly applies to small and medium-sized companies where overhead costs like rent, utilities, and payroll leave very little liquid cash to business leaders. To combat this challenge and keep the business running smoothly in the long-run, business leaders will need to look for new ways to provide immediate liquidity. This is where proposals such as ‘Small Business Workforce Stabilization Fund’ can be taken into consideration. This proposal will help small businesses impacted by the covid-19 to avail financial assistance and keep business solvent. Besides, business leaders must focus into developing incident management and scenario plans that are specific to the crisis, communicate effectively to stakeholders, and plan on how to meet government priorities without compromising the safety of the workforce.

In response to coronavirus outbreak, some businesses are developing contingency plans, while others are adapting strategic initiatives. Is your organization prepared to combat the covid-19 pandemic challenges? If not, RFP here and our experts will help you build rapid response plans.

Manage workforce

During these days, talent management is the biggest risk business leaders are talking about. Lack of workforce can put high pressure on business leaders to ensure smooth delivery. This subsequently can result in greater delays, errors, and ultimately customer dissatisfaction. Besides, as people are less willing to move outside their home cities, filling existing vacancies will be tougher for business leaders. As such, business leaders will need to embrace a defensive talent strategy, which focuses on identifying and retaining key contributors. Besides, assessing remote work strategy and attending to immediate global mobility concerns, such as HR policies and first-aid plans can help businesses to efficiently manage the workforce and subsequently maintain productivity.

Ensure supply continuity

As China is the mass exporter of merchandise to countries across the world, the coronavirus outbreak in China has affected almost every industry, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, automotive, and consumer electronics. Although the ripple effects of the coronavirus outbreak are difficult to assess, business leaders can take steps to mitigate risks and prevent potential supply chain disruptions. Establishing an alternative supply base can reduce dependency on one specific region. Also, recent studies show that organizations that solely depended on China for parts and raw materials were drastically hit. Even the company’s whose suppliers depended on China for raw materials were hugely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. As such, it’s high time for businesses to avoid reliance on single-source suppliers for raw materials and other requirements.

To ensure supply chain continuity, supply chain leaders must also constantly monitor Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Suppliers’ production, warehousing, and distribution sites must be monitored and supply chain leaders must make sure that their Tier 1 suppliers have undertaken robust risk management programs.

Are you scrambling to manage the impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak? If yes, our experts can help you to optimize business agility and reduce costs in the face of business uncertainties. For a FREE consultation, contact us here.

Build organizational resilience

According to experts at Infiniti Research, organizations must follow a five-phased approach for building organizational resilience and ensuring ongoing operations.

#1 Defining the business model

Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, business leaders must initially focus into their core customers to ensure the continuity of operations.

#2 Identifying uncertainties caused by coronavirus outbreak

By leveraging SWOT analysis, business leaders can identify uncertainties from the coronavirus outbreak. Besides, information technologies (IT’s) potential uncertainties can also be taken into consideration.

#3 Assessing the coronavirus impact

The third phase involves assessing and categorizing uncertainties based on their severity for the business.

#4 Designing changes

This phase involves developing tentative strategies for executing changes. This phase also involves identifying and leveraging digital technologies and capabilities to facilitate business operations.

#5 Executing changes

In the last phase, business leaders must apply an agile approach to executing the initiatives. Besides, agility, speed, and quality are the key to enabling the continuity of operations.

Want to know how the coronavirus outbreak will impact your business? Request more info and our experts will help you gather data-driven insights and plan your next move to minimize the business impact of the pandemic.

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