In October 2020, Lantern published a study on the impacts of COVID-19 on the food industry in Southern Europe in collaboration with EIT Food, Europe’s leading food innovation initiative and part of the European Union. The study was carried out in five countries across five different industries. Experts in the primary sector, food production and supply chain, food service, retail, and R&D and innovation were interviewed in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey.
Using the speculative futures methodology, we developed two different sets of possible future scenarios: short-term during the pandemic and medium-term after the pandemic. The first set was developed on the axes of economic recovery and control of the pandemic and the second on those of industrial changes and societal changes. Three scenarios were created for each time horizon, which were then broken down into impact and opportunities for the five industries listed above.
Based on these scenarios, we generated recommendations relating to online grocery shopping, types of products to produce, and more, and identified key opportunities such as dark kitchens and supermarkets in areas like digitalization and mechanization.
In addition to specific industry-related recommendations, there are specific actions to continue, cease, or commence immediately to prepare for the future. It is essential to continue focusing on the core business, reinforcing bonds with current customers, creating safe and positive experiences, reinforcing your value proposition, and offering healthy and convenient products and experiences.
Accordingly, while prioritizing key business areas there are others that must be dropped, including non-key components of the business, anything that creates an unsafe feeling for stakeholders, unhealthy and unsustainable products, and office-only work environments.
Finally, if you are not doing so already, we recommend setting the following in motion: agility and speed improvements, investment in digital capabilities in direct-to-consumer solutions, further investment in R&D in health and food security, creation of new consumer experiences, consideration of environmental impact (both people and planet), and integration of purpose at the core of strategy and execution.
Click “download the South foresight” at the following link to view the study: https://www.eitfood.eu/projects/food-foresight