The pandemic made tremendous distractions in the supply chain and current production and consumption of food, but it is also a source of opportunities for the sector according to the speakers: Marja Liisa Meurice (EIT Food), prof. Klaus Grunert (Aarhus University) and Peter Szewczyk (Deloitte).
We know from research on behavioural change that habits are stable when the environment is stable, but as soon as the stable environment crumble habits can crumble as well and it is easier for people to stay with new habits. And as the pandemic is definitely a disruptive event it is also a window of an opportunity to change consumer habits and their behaviour – says prof Klaus Grunert from the MAPP Center at Aarhus University, specializing in the research on consumer habits.
To learn more on the study on the impact of COVID19 on consumer behaviours please read THIS ARTICLE.
This may be really a moment to capitalize on the opportunities that may arise through this crisis. However we cannot forget about particular challenges that may be faced by small and medium-size companies – points out Marja Liisa Meurice, the Director of CLC NE EIT Food. The struggles to seek funding and problems with accessing the kind of knowledge needed to innovate might be a challenge for some SMEs. Especially the niche producers, who might have now the opportunity to benefit from consumers’ interest in specialized products and more organic production, but may lack the capacities to seek support from the public funding.
Peter Szewczyk from Deloitte explained that we can prepare for the unpredictable future thanks to foresight methodology through creating future scenarios for the sector - Within the Food Foresight project carried out together with EIT Food we have identified 4 scenarios (A New Consumer, A New Rulebook, Distortion & Disruption, A Full Recovery) based on the economic and institutional factors. We have to observe how the pandemic will evolve and how these factors will be changing in time, but it is a good tool to understand the potential transformation of the sector in the short- and mid-term future.
To discover the future scenarios and learn more on the challenges, but also opportunities that arise due to COVID19 in Central and Eastern Europe, please download the Food Foresight report available in English as well as 12 country reports (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia) available both in English and local languages: https://www.eitfood.eu/food-foresight