Written by Angela De Mirjyn
A colleague recently shared an article highlighting how household purchasing habits have changed since the onset of COVID19. Frozen and fresh seafood purchases by households in the United States rose 26 and 25%, respectively in the last 4 weeks of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
While most seafood used to be consumed in hospitality settings, the changes have created havoc in the industry. The traditional supply chain for seafood was not set up to serve supermarkets. And they, in turn were not ready with purchase contracts, nor with storage.
IMV Technologies is a company who serves the artificial insemination needs for most animal species of agricultural importance. Our vantage point allows us to see this type of disruption across many of the industries we serve. The U.S. dairy industry, for example, depended on kids attending in-school learning for a great amount of the usage of fluid milk. In-home use of bacon grew significantly as families were faced with eating 21 meals a week at home. The average weight of the turkey hen sold for Thanksgiving in 2020 was significantly lower than in past years, due to the limitations on the size of celebratory gatherings.
These changes may only be temporary. If my city is representative of the United States, there is pent up demand for “eating out,” and our eating habits may return to those of 2019 once vaccination is available to all. But uncertainty looms in the short-term. Some retailers are making investments that allow them to stay flexible, such as renting freezer space, instead of making capital investments into expansion of their facilities. Others are bypassing all “middlemen” and targeting the consumer directly, increasing their presence in owned social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, hoping to become part of a home’s customs for the long-term. An example of this in salmon farming is the rise of co-operative style purchasing groups, where one can “fund” a fishery and the “shares” entitle the household to a certain amount of food per month.
I don’t know where the challenges we are facing will take our industries, but for the IMV Technologies team it is clear that we work in the essential business of food production. Regardless of how consumers get what they eat, our responsibility remains to supply, on time, in full, good quality artificial insemination products and services to every breeder, farmer or aquaculturist that needs them.
The views expressed in IMV Technologies’ blog do not necessarily represent the views of the IMV Technologies Group but solely those of the blog post’s author