Coronavirus: Reshaping the Food & Beverage Industry

By Brock Montgomery,
Creative Strategist

With any luck, the Coronavirus is a once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes event. While scientists and epidemiologists may have seen such a thing coming (or not), most of us would say this was the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood. But here we are. Social distancing. Hand washing. Containing. Mitigating. Hoping. Praying. And waiting for it to go away. This is the nations’ focus now and it should be.

But it will end. This crisis, like every other crisis we’ve faced will end. And we will pick ourselves up and get back after it because that’s what we do. We will adapt. We will adjust. And at some point we will ask ourselves, “How the hell do we sell stuff now?”

The Coronavirus, COVID-19, has changed everything about practically, everything. And that includes what we do for a living, which is marketing. To be clear, we are not minimizing the catastrophic effects this has had on people. But we would be fools not to look at the facts before us.

Donovan Less is Best COVID-19

Never has there been a bigger opportunity to truly look at what matters to consumers when push comes to shove. Shelves are practically empty. But not completely. What brands were left? What products did people refuse to buy, even in the grasp of the apocalypse? Why? What did they buy first? Seems people wanted to make sure they had plenty of water and could wipe their butts. Makes sense. Even if neither of these products related to the symptoms of the virus.

The point is this, we are marketers. America is full of capitalists. We adjust to what is going on. As experts in food and beverage marketing, we are intrigued by what we are seeing. And the long-term effect it will have on everything from how many SKUs brands focus on to how we shop and where we shop. Price elasticity and whether being organic really matters. Distribution. Sales channels. How people really feel, really react and what they really believe was laid bare over the last couple of weeks and we are going to dive in and dig around and let you know what our experts think the future is going to look like.

Because it’s not going to look like the past. In any way, shape or form.