— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on June 23, 2020, Tuesday.
The latest outbreak of clusters of infections in the food industry has revived some of the more muted concerns about food prices. In the United States, food prices rose at their fastest pace in 46 years in April and continued to rise in May.
The U.S. food price index rose 0.7 percent in May, with home food prices rising 1%, according to the Labor Department, If the outbreak continues to hit food production, the upward trend in food prices expected in the coming months may be difficult to reverse. Especially essential consumer goods like meat, poultry and eggs.
In addition to the impact on the consumer side, on the supply side, companies need to pay higher costs to ensure safe production, which also brings new challenges to the food industry. Industry insiders expect competition in the U.S. food industry to intensify in the second half of the year, the weak die, the fittest survive and there may also be a round of industry reshuffle.
former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market
you've got a cost in terms of providing a safe workplace, and you've got a cost in terms of paying your frontline workers more. So I think the question is the inflation in food prices , the question becomes where is how long it will stay, what I'm hearing is, what I think is, most of people are thinking the second half of year, looks a little bit more competitive, that is when we will see what a competitive marketplace does, who will pass it on, who won't pass it on. how will that have resolved.
In the face of the epidemic, both consumers and producers have made positive adjustments. A survey by the American Food Industry Association shows that 89% of consumers changed their food consumption habits during the outbreak. This includes things like how often you spend, how you spend, how much you spend, and so on. Consumers are also good at choosing alternatives.
During the epidemic, for example, even as meat sales declined, sales of plant-based artificial meat grew rapidly. According to industry tracking data, the two major artificial meat companies, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, saw sales increase 241 percent at the time of the peak meat shortage, and it is still up 113 since April. In addition, while we are concerned about the shortage of fresh products, processed foods such as biscuits and frozen foods such as frozen soups have seen considerable sales growth during the epidemic.
As the National Food Industry Association points out, the food industry has been more accustomed to dealing with sudden disruptions and challenges over the past few decades. While we are facing an unprecedented crisis, there are also business opportunities. Strictly implement safety measures to ensure production and supply, which is the basic premise for enterprises to turn crisis into opportunity. We will continue to pay attention to the development of the food industry