Looking Ahead Beyond the Covid-19 Curve

A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn. –Author unknown

These uncertain times calls upon all of us to be flexible and think in new ways.  Let us look at where we are today and how the industry might make the turn into the future. What will concession and food service look like once we are past survival mode of Covid-19 and how will the industry move forward?

2020 4 23 Forecast Graph

As of April 10, Blue Chip Economists forecast declining economic growth through the first quarter of 2021.

The New Normal Business Practices

When restaurants, movie theaters, sport and schools reopen, and until a vaccine is available, there will be a new normal in place with respect to social distancing, seating configurations, rethinking self-service beverage stations, and grab and go food cabinets.  Businesses will want to make a visible effort to show their staff cleaning, disinfecting surfaces to put consumers at ease.

Revisiting Single Use Packaging

There may be a relaxing of attitudes towards single use packaging and sustainability efforts as safety becomes top of mind for consumers. Shared serving stations, communal condiment stands and buffets may move to individually packaged items or eliminated entirely.  

2020 4 23 Temperature Taking

Preemptive Safety Measures

Restaurants such as McDonald’s in Hong Kong, grocery stores in Italy and other public spaces outside the U.S. are implementing temperature checks. In the U.S., Disney for example talks of the possibility of temperature checks for visitors coming into their parks.  This practice is still in the discussion stage as companies are concerned about scaring customers.  Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi told investors on a call last week that the chain “doesn’t anticipate” taking the temperature of moviegoers. While theaters want to show customers they’re entering a clean environment, there’s concern about walking the line between reassuring consumers and scaring them.

Next Steps

The world is anxious to get back to business but with the understanding, our world may look a bit different from how we left it. For concessionaires and food service operators, the key areas of focus that will help you are:

·        Ensure safety of all workers and customers

·        Rehiring and retraining workers previously laid off or furloughed.

·        Ensure product availability in the supply chain required for reopening.

·        Review and re-evaluate the customer facing areas your business that you can actively address consumer perceptions of safety and hygiene.

·        Evaluate other incremental revenue opportunities

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Kagome Asia

With 10 facilities and growing, Kagome has aggressively expanded operations from its base in Japan to Taiwan, China, and Malaysia. Kagome Japan has an exceptional commitment to quality, teamwork, science and technology. Kagome Japan is home to the world's largest privately held tomato seed bank with 7,500 varieties. It is also where many of our proprietary processes were nurtured and brought to fruition. Kagome Japan's core values are shared across its family of companies.

Capabilities in Asia include a colorful variety of fruit and vegetable products such as sauces, drinks, ready-to-eat meals and probiotics.

Kagome Australia

Kagome Australia is expanding into sauce production from tomato farming and processing. The opposite growing season in Australia gives us added flexibility. It will be the first fully vertically integrated operation in the Kagome family.

Kagome Europe

HIT, a Kagome subsidiary in Portugal, is based in a superb tomato growing region. These tomatoes are highly prized for their color and sweetness, which HIT turns into unique tomato ingredients and products. A newly established Agricultural Research Center studies new seed varieties and processing technologies in collaboration with other Kagome teams.

Kagome USA

Kagome USA has manufacturing and R&D facilities on both coasts, in California and Arkansas. Capabilities have evolved from pouched tomato sauces to include cream sauces, compound butters, margarines and spreads, and portion pack. With unmatched access to consistent tomato crops and other raw materials, the US operation is highly scaled, flexible, and efficient to meet global demands. United Genetics, a seed company based in California, recently joined the Kagome family.