Covid-19 Sees Consumers Turn To Healthy, Local Food
Farmer's Weekly|October 30, 2020
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Covid-19 Sees Consumers Turn To Healthy, Local Food
In the climate of unease brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers are turning to healthier, locally sourced food for comfort and certainty, according to Shereen Tromp, senior consultant at Euromonitor International. The consumption of locally grown produce offers new opportunities for local businesses and farmers.
Jeandré van der Walt 

In times of uncertainty, consumers seek the comfort of the familiar. This was one of the main thrusts of a new report titled ‘The rebirth of home policy in fresh food’ by Euromonitor International. In addition, the report states, there is a growing desire amongst consumers to know and trust where their food comes from.


The COVID-19 pandemic, and the way in which it has spread around the world, has reinforced consumers’ desire for ‘safe’ food. Because different countries have different policies and ideas of what is considered safe, local produce is perceived as safer than imported food in many countries and is therefore preferred.

In addition, consumers are turning back to locally sourced food as a source of identity, and food and native ingredients that remind consumers of home are therefore seeing increased popularity. These include indigenous inputs, homegrown food and country-of-origin claims.

South Africa is seeing a growing demand for pulses, such as lentils. Many retailers are pushing plant-based produce on social media, and there is a focus on affordability and health.


Another key factor is the availability of fresh produce, which is heavily reliant on an efficient supply chain. Closed borders, import/export delays, inclement weather and local unrest all have a negative effect on availability. This results in an increased reliance on local produce as consumers and retailers look for ways to keep shelves stocked.


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October 30, 2020