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CGA: ‘Suppliers well placed to help operators capitalise on post-lockdown opportunities’

Published:  19 January, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered important changes in people’s attitudes to food and created a split between those seeking quality and value, but suppliers are well placed to help operators capitalise on post-lockdown sales opportunities, a new CGA survey has suggested.

CGA’s Brand Track survey, conducted in late 2020, found that value for money and quality would be a more important factor for many people when the market reopens. 

Among these consumers, a third (32%) said they would be led by the quality of food when they choose where to eat out again, while a fifth (21%) said they would be most influenced by value.

This, said CGA, left nearly half (46%) of this group of consumers seeking both quality and value when they eat out – a sign of the demands that will be placed on both operators and suppliers when the market reopens, said Charlie Mitchell, research & insight director at CGA.  

“These trends point to a crucial role for suppliers in giving consumers what they want when the market can reopen."

By positioning products to meet these nuances in demand and supporting with marketing insights and promotional activity, suppliers could help operators to “get back on their feet as quickly as possible”, added Mitchell.

The research also found that ‘older people’, in particular the over 65 age group, were more likely than average to be seeking this combination.

Moreover, it found that a renewed focus on value reflected a tightening of consumer spending since the start of the pandemic, with more than two in five (44%) BrandTrack respondents saying they had experienced financial hardship or a drop in household income due to Covid-19.

“Lockdowns have created a pent-up demand for eating out, and we can expect many consumers to return quickly to restaurants and pubs when they can,” said Mitchell, but it was also clear that the pandemic had taken a financial toll on many people, while leaving others “unscathed and actually saving money in recent months”, said Mitchell.

“This polarisation will create a challenging set of demands on businesses, and all brands will need to carefully find the balance of quality and value that is best for their customers."

CGA research released last week highlighted the importance of businesses staying close to their teams during lockdown to make sure staff are engaged and motivated when venues reopen.