Return of demand for food away from home drives economy

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After a year and a half since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the food service channel, food away from home, begins to see an improvement in sales. According to the Brazilian Food Industry Association (ABIA), the sector should end the year with a 27% share of total sales by the food industry on the domestic market, equivalent to R$ 173.3 billion.

The scenario is already superior to last year, which reached 23.9% in the same period. For 2022, the projection is for full recovery, according to ABIA surveys.

Data released this Tuesday(9) by the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants reinforce the optimism for the demand for the service. The survey carried out with businessmen from all over Brazil, between the 14th and 22nd of October, shows that 79% are confident in the gradual recovery.

The positive numbers also move the job market with hiring. Among those interviewed, 31% said they intend to hire an employee in 2021.

For José Eduardo Camargo, Content & Intelligence Leader at Abrasel, the relaxation of restrictions raised the expectations of bar and restaurant owners.

“Customer confidence is returning, thanks to advances in vaccination and the drop in transmission rates. The end of the year promises to be good – four out of five businessmen in the sector are aware that sales will be higher in December”, says Camargo.

“For this, the establishments were prepared to receive even the most reticent customers. Some trends are increasing, such as the use of digital tools in customer service. But what makes the difference is something that doesn’t change, the vocation of bars and restaurants to promote meetings, dialogue and the pleasure of enjoying a good dish.” highlights the content leader.

In addition to the economic impact, the market also had to adapt to meet the changes in consumer behavior, which started to demand more conditions from the establishments.

The survey commissioned by ABIA, carried out by the Qualibest institute, interviewed 1,102 people, between men and women aged 18 years and over, from classes A, B and C, throughout the country.

Data show that 35% see hygiene and safety as the main criteria for choosing a restaurant, followed by 22% who want tasty food and 16% who prioritize paying a fair price.

The survey also found that 82% of consumers seek open and well-ventilated spaces, establishments that have tables on balconies, lounges with large windows or open and outdoor spaces, such as tables on the sidewalks.

Only 5% prefer food courts in malls or shopping centers, while 13% do not care about the environment, as long as it is where they want to consume.

Abrasel emphasizes, however, that the sector’s growth still faces obstacles. One of them is inflation that impacts costs and secures purchasing power. Meats and sausages, depending on prices, lead when it comes to supply difficulties.

The case of beers draws attention, which took 25%, in second place: 36% pointed to the shortage of beer and draft beer in the market as the great difficulty in supplying stocks.

Another challenge is the indebtedness of the owners of these establishments. To survive the crisis generated by the pandemic, 77% of businessmen reported that they requested loans from the bank, as an alternative found to survive the restrictions and, now, to avoid passing inflation onto the menu.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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