The food and beverage industry has been immensely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our “What’s New” webinar series, I was joined by Michael Tucker of the Long Island Food Council. We explored the current state of the industry and what we see on the horizon. A few key themes from our discussion:
The impact of COVID-19 on the food and beverage industry will largely be a function of consumer confidence. Right now consumers are “split” as to whether or not it is safe to go out to, for example, restaurants and bars. Those businesses cannot return and continue to be at risk as long as consumer confidence is low.
Start-up food and beverage companies have done well during this period due to their low overhead and ability to pivot easily. However, they also were largely unable to take advantage of PPP loans and similar programs that would have been helpful during this time.
A “great divide” exists between manufacturing and retail players. Many manufacturers have thrived during this period and will continue to do so. Retail businesses continue to suffer and have had to be innovative in order to stay in business.