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COVID-19 and 10 Ways It’s Impacting Our Food System

COVID-19 and resulting quarantine measures are having a significant impact on every aspect of the food system. Find out the latest developments with CFI NOW, a live webcast each Friday.

Members of CFI’s Consumer Trust Insights Council talked about these effects during their April roundtable discussion. While temporary supply disruptions are the most visible to consumers, council members predict that more far-reaching changes may take place throughout the food system as a result of the pandemic.

The Trust Insights Council includes industry thought leaders, executives and social scientists who explore emerging consumer trends and use data analysis to inform strategic direction.

We identified the top 10 insights the council outlined regarding impacts of the crisis:

  1. The food system is looking for shorter supply chains and building up larger inventories.
  2. The restaurant industry will look very different when it reemerges. Ghost kitchens built around delivery will increase.
  3. Labor issues will reshape the food system.
  4. The dairy industry is poised for a major reset, building on sustainability issues that began before the pandemic.
  5. Online ordering and delivery will redesign grocery shopping.
  6. Consumers see foods they prepare themselves as safer.
  7. Sales of staples continue to be strong, but families also want convenience.
  8. Food waste is a growing concern among consumers.
  9. The crisis is sparking a discussion about a national food strategy.
  10. In a reversal of globalization, governments are focused on domestic food production.

Additional insights from Consumer Trust Insights Council members and their organizations can be accessed through CFI Trust Insights Council COVID-Insights.

For the latest consumer trends research and predictions about what’s ahead, join us each Friday, at 1 p.m. CDT, as members share their expertise as part of the live webcast CFI NOW: COVID-19 and the Latest Consumer Insights. Video segments from each week are available and registration is free.

Learn more about how the coronovirus will impact sustainability in an upcoming webinar Shifting Priorities: COVID-19 and the New Face of Sustainability, May 14 at 11 a.m. CDT.

As the pandemic continues, CFI is dedicated to providing new research and expertise as the food system navigates a quickly evolving environment. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help.

Terry Fleck
CFI Executive Director