Prolonged turbulence in the meat industry caused by COVID-19 detrimental to consumer confidence

Following the news (June 3rd) that Brazilian labor prosecutors have filed a petition with a local court demanding the closure of a JBS SA pork plant due to the outbreak of novel Coronavirus, a decision that is still pending according to news reports;

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her commentary on how this could impact consumer confidence:

“The challenges JBS are 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 behavior from some consumers, and may lead them to opt for alternative meat offerings.

“It’s worth noting that, as of week 10 of GlobalData’s weekly COVID-19 tracker survey, published on June 3rd, 73% of Brazilian consumers are concerned about the safety of product packaging* – and such concerns will also translate to production further down in the supply chain, particularly as people demand more transparency from brands and operators.

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.”

*GlobalData’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker Survey – Week 10 (June 3rd) – Brazil – combined ‘Strongly agree’ and ‘Somewhat agree’

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