Researchers explored how the pandemic has affected the supply and demand sides of the food market simultaneously. They also discussed how panic buying caused an initial surge in food demand that was met with increased production.
The demand was negatively affected both by the near-total loss of foodservice outlets and by a consumer shift to precautionary saving.
The challenges on the supply side, discussing how COVID-induced food-processing restrictions, workers being kept at home, and a shift in protein demand from foodservice to food at home led to plant slowdowns and complete shutdowns are also needed to focus.
The meat processing sector also experienced a significant increase in production and price risks and a dramatic widening of marketing margins. These insecurities encouraged building the resilience of the food supply chain.
Researchers also pointed out that larger commercial firms have the advantage of increasing resilience through improved efficiency, adoption of technology, and global marketing.
The public interest has resulted in research and investment in shortening the food supply chain and expanding local and regional systems.
Researchers predict that if large commercial food supply chains increase efficiency and use of automation in response to challenges faced during the pandemic, this will pose a real threat to the economic viability of smaller local and regional systems.
These smaller operations might face an even more competitive environment than the environment that existed before the pandemic.