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Food Business

How is COVID-19 changing the food industry?

In order to understand food system consolidation and resilience, we’ll be monitoring COVID-19’s impact on the structure and economics of the food industry, identifying where old business models are forced to expire and where innovation is shaping new alternatives. We’ll also be looking at where companies are prioritising food that is healthy and affordable, and where private sector solutions to food access problems are ensuring that vulnerable groups receive the food they need. In the long-term, will the changes we see in this sector hinder or accelerate progress towards a food system that is healthy and sustainable for human and planetary health?

Return to our homepage to view the COVID-19 Tracker in full.

Restaurants re-open as grocery stores with delivery capacity

In response to the sector-wide forced closure, many restaurants are temporarily reinvented themselves as mini grocery stores with local delivery capacity.  Here a number of London restaurants are profiled, and while it is unclear to what extent these initiatives are specifically helping vulnerable groups, Leon are additionally raising money for key NHS workers.

Tesco says even retailers will suffer as a result of coronavirus

Despite showing full-year growth in UK profits and sales, Tesco warns that even retailers will incur increased costs due to coronavirus.  These will come from staffing, distribution and in-store expenses, although are expected to be largely offset by food sales growth and business rate relief.

Retail sector sees unprecedented growth in sales during March

 Kantar reports that grocery market growth for the 12 weeks to 22nd March was the fastest rate in over a decade. The rapid growth was driven by a 20.6% surge in sales over the last four weeks – equivalent to an extra £10.8bn of spending – as shoppers stocked up on groceries and switched back to retail from out-of-home consumption in response to the COVID-19.

Have a look at IGD’s analysis here.