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April 24, 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Sector Based Observations coming out of COVID-19

The entire transaction is changing, here are our observations on various industries and some solutions we're seeing implemented across sectors

Health Foods

Since the breakout consumers have become more health conscious and are taking a more proactive approach to strengthen their wellbeing. Sales of nutritional supplements have significantly increased as consumers look at ways to strengthen immunity. This has resulted in stock piling, resulting in challenges for brands to keep up with demand from new customers whilst also trying to meet the supply needs of existing customers. Once stock is unavailable, consumers might move onto other competing brands and it is then difficult to say if they will return.

Key Take Away:
As per the law of Supply & Demand, markets come back to an equilibrium, and companies have to be very aware that surges caused due to panic buying will be short term and must not get too carried away in over stocking. More importantly it is vital to not neglect existing loyal customers in favour of new ones.

Solution: Create a mail friendly recurring health subscription to stop panic over-dosing and to keep both supply and demand consistent.

Release fresh, relevant & unique content, people are content hungry! Ensure your brand reflects these ideals, if it doesn’t make use of the demand to clear out current branding and get cracking on re-positioning your brand for the return to norm.

General Food Sector

Many long-life or preserved products such as pasta, grains, beans and other seasoning products benefited from the panic phase however this has eased, and supply chains have rebounded. However, shortages now exist in areas such as baking supplies as consumers have become more experimental in their culinary abilities given the increased time people are now spending at home. This change has also increased demand for meal kits as consumers seek to become more adventurous in their meal choices.

Key Take Away:  People are almost bored of eating the same thing and consecutively have time on their hands causing decreases in ready to eat goods and increased consumption of home food and meal kits.

This will cause a rise in creative cooking; do you have a complementary product or even content such as recipes that you can add to your product?

People will be more explorative in their taste and brands that offer a platter of products will benefit the most. The easiest way to evolve would be to offer a potential “essence” kit comprising of different herbs and spices to achieve different flavours. One thing to note however is most companies usually use portion packaging to control the quality a customer will create and stop them from so called trial & error therefore differentiating the kit & primary product is essential!

Other Changes:

Staying at Home
Working from home & lack of socialising has caused a drop in the beauty and cosmetics sector across the board but people’s behaviour has become more explorative since and thus a great opportunity to make use of a sample strategy.

Craft Kits & DIY Products
There has been a tenfold increase in craft kits being sold online as consumers look to find activities to occupy their time during the lockdown, with delays in parcel delivery mailbox friendly products have the key advantage here both due to availability and likely packing a product within at a friendly price point.

One of the most prominent Craft kits we’ve seen is by Christopher Kane who launched a build your own face mask kit (protective face mask not a cosmetic one!) containing various past season swatches from the London Fashion Week collections. This both raises awareness for them among wider audiences as well as getting people engaging with their brand online and on social media all the while helping people stay at home and protected, in style obviously!

Tea & Coffee
As one of the largest suppliers of packaging to these two sectors, we can say there has been a profound increase in demand due to increased home consumption. It’s fair to say many of us are caffeine addicts at work but now with later evenings fuelled by binge watching the telly and lack of daily engagement, the stimulating effect of caffeine has somewhat become a saviour for us all. Many of our brands are now offering a variety coffee or tea mail order service online.

One of the largest trends in this industry has been Dalgona coffee, going viral across the world creating a new wave of self-taught barista’s. This is the power of co-creation, if you actually look at it its just frothy coffee but it has brought coffee into the homes of millions who were once non coffee drinkers! We’re just waiting now for one of our Tea Customers to ignite a similar trend!