London-based data and analytics company GlobalData suggests prolonged turbulence in the meat industry caused by Covid-19 could be detrimental to consumer confidence.

just-food’s parent company said the meat industry is struggling to guarantee the safety of people and product as GlobalData highlighted the case in Brazil where prosecutors have filed a petition with a local court demanding the closure of a pork plant belonging to meat giant JBS due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Carmen Bryan, a consumer analyst at GlobalData, said: “The challenges JBS is currently facing from Covid-19 are shared across the entire meat sector worldwide; meat processing plants are quickly being labelled as hotspots for the virus and, should this continue, it could deter many consumers from purchasing such products. 

“Confusion around how the virus is spread and where it came from reinforces what we are already seeing as cautionary behaviour from some consumers, and may lead them to opt for alternative-meat offerings.”

Bryan said that GlobalData’s 3 June Covid-19 tracker survey revealed 73% of Brazilian consumers are concerned about the safety of product packaging and such concerns could also translate to production further down in the supply chain, “particularly as people demand more transparency from brands and operators”.

She added: “Across different sectors, Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of adapting operations to guarantee people and product safety in the face of the crisis – something that the meat industry continues to strive to achieve.”

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