Coronavirus Will Boost Online Grocery And Consumption Of Shelf-Stable Foods

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 | 1475 Views

As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, people are flocking to supermarkets and stockpiling on essential household items, disinfectants and non-perishable, food staples. According to Food Navigator, analysts at Bernstein foresee that the coronavirus situation will increase consumption of shelf-stable products and frozen packaged foods temporarily as consumers prepare for potential quarantines in event of a large-scale outbreak.

The report states that companies such as Campbell Soup, Conagra Brands in frozen, General Mills and Kellogg in cereal, Mondelez International and Kellogg in crackers, J.M. Smucker in peanut butter, jams and jellies, and Kraft Heinz in macaroni and cheese, will benefit from this behaviour. However, this growth is temporary and would not have material impact on the food companies’ sales on a full year basis. Companies like Campbell Soup are increasing production in canned soup and snacks in anticipation of the surge in demand.

In fact, demand for online grocery has also surged since the virus outbreak. More people are opting to purchase their groceries online to reduce exposure to crowds. In US, Instacart have introduced a “Leave at my door delivery” option for groceries to the delivered to their doorstep at a designated time, instead of being hand delivered. In Singapore, E-Commerce firm RedMart told CNBC that the company is “seeing unprecedented demand” in the city and shoppers “have been buying four to 10 times more food staples, 3.5 to five times more paper products, and two to six times more personal care and household cleaning supplies.” In response, e-commerce retailers are increasing delivery capacity and scaling up operations.


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