As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, consumers are flocking to grocery stores to prepare for a potential quarantine. From canned goods to cleaning supplies, people all over the world – including Italians and Americans – are stockpiling and emptying shelves in some areas. Analysts are predicting that this trend will help boost sales for some CPG companies in the near term.
In the USA various shelf-stable and frozen products from companies like Campbell Soup, Conagra Brands, General Mills, Kellogg and Kraft Heinz are expected to see an increase in sales as more states issue emergencies and the outbreak spreads. Some grocery stores, such as Costco, are also seeing a sales boost from panic shopping. The same can be said for Italy, where in the last two weeks supermarkets have been stormed by consumers looking for frozen foods, shelf-stable food products and fruit and vegetables.
BEST-SELLING FOOD CATEGORIES
According to Nielsen data, several categories have seen a sharp uptick in sales in the week ending February 29, 2020, vs. the same period 2019, including:
- Oatmilk: +322% (in the previous week to Feb 22, sales were up 305.5% YoY)
- Dried beans: +36.9% (in the previous week, sales were up 10.1%)
- Water: +11.3% (in the previous week, sales were up 5.1%)
- Canned meat: +31.8% (in the previous week, sales were up 9.7%)
- Powdered milk products: +84.4% (in the previous week, sales were up 5%)
CORONAVIRUS DRIVING UP SALES OF FROZEN FOODS
Although there is increased demand for food and beverage companies producing frozen and canned goods, there are challenges with production and international sales.
The more prepared companies are for the increased demand, the better off they could be, according to analysts. Campbell Soup’s CEO Mark Clouse told CNBC the company is speaking with retailers to better understand what demand could look like and to try to prevent any supply chain interruptions.
KEEPING AN EYE ON DISRUPTION
A report by Bernstein also cautioned that Big Food companies with a lot of involvement in the foodservice channel could face challenges if the outbreak continues to spread because consumers may not want to go out to eat. Analysts said companies like Beyond Meat, Tyson Foods and McCormick are the most exposed to disruption in that segment.
Like many sectors throughout the word, the food and beverage space is feeling the impact from the outbreak with companies keeping a close watch on what a prolonged spread of the coronavirus could have on their businesses.