Coronavirus Forcing a Reinvention Among Food Businesses

By: First Union


Coronavirus Forcing a Reinvention Among Food Businesses

Many industries and businesses had to rethink how they operate, how they deliver goods, and how they interact with consumers. Food companies were among those businesses that without question had to make some major pivots amid this pandemic. Big Food companies in particular had to brace for and integrate some drastic adjustments in light of the virus's impact. And what they ultimately discovered was that the changes and innovations they introduced were not only necessary but were trends that were bound to happen regardless of the global situation. Such were trends that inevitably highlighted something truly critical when it comes to Big Food: the link between food and health.

While certainly, a number of the larger food companies fared well under the spotlight these past few months, others most definitely met with challenges. The likes of meatpackers Smithfield and Tyson for example had their share of issues. From crowded factory conditions to regulations that made the virus spread worse than it should have been, these companies had to endure massive shutdowns and diminished operations. These stories among others have since fueled the public's overriding concern about the connection between food safety and health.

The Connection Between Food and Health

As the pandemic starts to subside, the concerns and fears about health and well-being certainly have not. In a recent global survey, nearly 75% of people asked said they were most definitely going to reconsider their eating habits in light of new health concerns. And more than half of Millennials surveyed in a recent US poll said that they would be far more deliberate in their food selections post-pandemic.

And it's not just Big Food's impact as regards health. The food industry's connection with the environment and detrimental environmental conditions is also of some concern in light of recent events. We have seen around the world notable evidence suggesting that pollution rates have gone down in light of major industry shutdowns. It is estimated that the food industry alone accounts for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is why brands such as Beyond Meat are now becoming increasingly popular. Plant-based food supply chains generate 90% fewer emissions.

In the wake of the coronavirus, food companies have no choice—they have to make some changes to appease consumers who now expect to see new standards and practices. They in many instances will be expected to take the lead in providing healthy, sustainable foods. Given the conditions we have seen, not to mention environmental impact, the food companies will need to adjust accordingly.

Many industries and businesses are finding that they have to adapt and make some consequential changes in the months moving forward, not solely the food industry. And many unfortunately may not be fully prepared to do so given what they've just been through. If your business needs additional funds to enact new practices and innovations in light of COVID-19, First Union Lending can certainly help. Our loan programs are fast and flexible and designed with small businesses in mind. Call today!

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