With the importance of the Canadian food industry in providing food for the nation and worldwide with its contribution to the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on the food industry in Canada alongside changes in technological advancements, global market dynamics, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, consumer behaviour shifts, and stringent health and safety regulations.
With the impact of COVID-19, the global supply chain has been disrupted and resulting in delays or shortages of raw materials, ingredients and packaging supplies for food businesses and even temporarily closing down certain product offerings.
Apart from food shortages, there are also issues with labour shortages in food processing plants and agricultural sectors due to worker illness, quarantine measures and travel restrictions resulting in a reduced workforce. COVID-19 enhances people’s awareness of health and safety regulations where food businesses are required to implement strict health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This included increased sanitization measures, social distancing protocols, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers which increases operational costs and logistical challenges.
Consumers are now more drawn towards local food systems where food security is ensured. Furthermore, they have started to shift their consuming behaviour to their preference for online grocery shopping, home cooking, meal kits and food delivery services. This quick change requires food businesses to adapt quickly and invest in e-commerce, digital marketing, and new product development to meet changing consumer demands.
How PR agencies are helping food businesses adapt to the new normal
Sustainability is a crucial focus nowadays as well where PR agencies can help food businesses to highlight their commitments to sustainable practices, local sourcing, and reducing food waste which resonates with customers during the pandemic about environmental and social issues. Communication within the company cannot be neglected as well and this is where PR agencies can come in to guide food businesses to communicate effectively with their employees.
This guidance ranges from safety protocols, changes in operations and any other pandemic-related updates to maintain employee morale and productivity during challenging times. By providing these essential services, PR agencies can help food businesses in Canada navigate challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. To position them for success in the post-pandemic era and maintain the food industry in Canada as a significant sector of the economy, positioning for success in the evolving market landscape.