Food: winners and losers in quarantine consumption

In addition to having modified the rhythm of activity of the population, the social, preventive and compulsory isolation has generated changes in consumption habits. The 41 days of quarantine (until Wednesday, April 29) configured a new map in food, characterized by more demand for products in the home.

Under these conditions, products such as flours, eggs, chicken, beef cuts for milanesas, dulce de leche and cream cheese have led consumer preferences during the pandemic.

According to a monitoring on line carried out by the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute (IPCVA), 44 percent of consumers acknowledge that they were supplied with a high quantity of carbohydrate-rich products (rice, noodles and flours); 37 percent did so with vegetables, while 27 percent said they stock up on meat.

On a day-to-day basis, dairy products also changed their demand, forcing the industry to adapt to the moment.


“There is more milk available to process, and companies are allocating that to the production of creamy cheeses, which are the ones that have had the most output in recent days,” explained Pablo Villano, president of the Association of Small and Medium Dairy Enterprises ( Apymel), who also identified long-life milks and dulce de leche as the ones that gained the most demand.

Among milk derivatives, the item most affected by the contraction in sales is hard cheeses and mozzarella, whose demand by restaurants has decreased by almost 90 percent, according to industrialists and distributors.

Brands like Sancor, for example, had breakdowns of stocks (They sold everything) in products such as dulce de leche, long-life milk and butter.

Chicken and eggs were another of the foods that increased their demand.

In March, the poultry slaughter nationwide grew 7.5 percent, the equivalent of 4.4 million chickens. In the case of eggs, their marketing rose 40 percent, which in some areas shot up their retail price.


As for beef, there are two well-differentiated markets with opposite numbers.

While the cuts for milanesas have had a strong growth, the roast (rib, vacuum and slaughter) has lost ground due to the absence of social activity, according to butchers and meat packing companies.

The pig did not do well during the quarantine either. The fall in commercialization has generated an oversupply that depressed the price on foot (live animal). However, at the consumer level there was no decrease in over the counter values.

“The demand for pig meat fell due to the closure of restaurants, the non-holding of social events and the paralysis of hotels and tourism,” said Marcos Torres, president of the Chamber of Pig Producers of Córdoba.

Within warehouse products, flour showed an increase in sales, especially in family packaging.

According to the mills, and despite the general demand going back 15 percent during the first month of quarantine, the production of flour in packages of one kilo grew 70 percent.

On the other hand, the baking sector is going through a period of retraction, due to the lower consumption of invoices, fine doughs and cakes.

Although it is not a food, the consumption of yerba mate also increased during isolation. After having reached an average sales level of 20 million kilos during the first two months of the year, a higher volume was projected for March and April.

Written by Argentina News

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