As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, businesses in every industry have suffered, including the food and beverage industry. Even though the food and beverage industry are classified as essential businesses and were allowed continued operations throughout the MCO, it came with major restrictions, and important rules and regulations were issued. This resulted in a significant impact on the industry as dine-in operations ground to a halt and businesses were only allowed to operate takeaways and delivery options.
However, now that Malaysia has entered the phase of Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which has again been extended till June 9, speculations are rife about business after COVID-19 and post this CMCO. BitQuest has been keeping track of various industry trends during these times and in this article, we bring for you key points that will prove vital in the reshaping of the Food and Beverage (F&B) Industry post this MCO.
Here are some of the trends and insights from the F&B Industry in Malaysia:
Business going online
One thing that this pandemic has taught us is that it is time to innovate and take traditional business online. The figures that follow next are proof of this fact! Before the implementation of the MCO, only 21% of the food and beverage businesses were available to be ordered online. Within 30 days of the MCO, implementation which saw businesses restricted to only providing takeaway and delivery options, the number of businesses that expanded their operations online almost doubled up to 46% in order to deal with the increased demand for food delivery services.
Video content on social media
Another trend that came into highlight during the first 30 days of MCO for the food and beverage industry, is that the number of video posts has been increasing while photo posts are decreasing. This particular trend shares a similar pattern on both Facebook and Instagram. Businesses have been using the opportunity to highlight challenges consumers might face during the MCO (i.e. cooking is not easy, maintaining social distancing) and using these angles to shout out about their online delivery services. It is interesting to note that direct and hard selling is an approach that the audience during these times is not favoring. They are rather interested in content that humanizes their favorite food brands.
Another insight into online consumer behavior comes from the type of content they have been engaging with. Mix.com.my stands out among other industry players as the brand having the highest shares across Facebook and Instagram, with its content revolving around recipes, wellness tips, as well as memes that relate to the daily lives of Malaysians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The brand’s timely and relevant content struck a chord with Malaysians, making it highly shareable.
Posts about food delivery services have come up on top in terms of social media interactions across both Facebook and Instagram. Recipe posts on Facebook are also doing particularly well as brands are seeking to provide meal inspirations for consumers who have lesser dining options in light of the MCO. This could prove to be one of the easiest ways to hook in your audience and build a loyal audience base for your brand.
Online delivery is prospering
One of the most noticeable shifts has been seen in e-commerce platform sales distribution. On both Facebook and Instagram, more brands have shifted their focus to online food delivery platforms such as GrabFood and Food Panda to enhance their preferred sales channel. Call-to-actions leading to GrabFood, in particular, saw an increase of 45% (22% to 32%) on Facebook and a drastic 100% increase (18% to 36%) on Instagram. This goes on to show the importance of online food deliveries in the near future. With people still being confined inside their homes and keen on maintaining social distancing, online food deliveries could prove to be one of the major tools to conduct business in the future at least till some solution is met.
Evolve. Innovate. Adapt
These three words are the key takeaways from this pandemic. From food delivery to DIY cooking kits, food and beverage businesses, especially major food chains, are quickly adapting their business strategies and upping their social media game to stay connected with consumers as well as stay in business. It is important to be in tune with the behavioral changes of the customers and innovate your strategies accordingly.
Source: Figures and facts adapted from Adqlo’s Life-After-COVID19-Malaysia-Retail-Industry-Digital-Report.
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