China points to changing trends and patterns of consumption following COVID-19 outbreak

Crisis accelerating e-commerce and increasing interest in foodstuffs’ providence and safety

Infiniti reveals key lessons from China’s recovering F&B Industry. (Graphic: Business Wire)

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 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.

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 behaviour.

Here are some of the trends that F&B companies in the rest of the world can also expect in the near future:

  • Growing demand for easy-to-prep meals: As most of the food service companies paused operations due to the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a spike in demand for canned foods in China over the past few months.
  • 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.
  • Rising 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.

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