The challenges facing the FMCG sector set by the COVID-19 pandemic were at the core of the Second Annual Conference "Responsible Producers", organized by Manager magazine in partnership with the Food Drinks Bulgaria Association. The future of the FMCG sector under new rules was discussed by the panelists Iana Ivanova, Executive Director of Food Drink Bulgaria, Ivan Chernev, Chairman of the Board of Kaufland Bulgaria, Mariana Kukusheva, Chairman of the Board, National Branch Union of Bakers and Confectioners and Stoyko Apostolov , Manager of the Bioselena Foundation.
The crisis has caused both temporary and lasting changes in food and beverage consumption, according to a study done by the Paragraph 42 agency. The most important among them are the main hypotheses for the development of the relations producers - retailers-consumers:
1. The market will become more price oriented. Price competition will continue to increase, at least for some time, including in the FMCG sector.
2. People will communicate and do more online shopping
3. The brand loyalty will now be extremely sustainable. This is related to the relationship between brands and consumers during a crisis. The results of the survey show that consumers are becoming more frugal with certain purchases. Rational motives for purchase prevail over emotional ones.
"These are not just hypotheses, these are already facts," commented Ivan Chernev on the survey data. "We have witnessed an unprecedented collaboration of companies working in one industry, united against the common enemy. This crisis triggered an unknown process of unification and joint actions of yesterday's competitors in the name of doing it together. country, also led to changes in the level of trust between consumers and companies, "Chernev said.
The panelists discussed new breakthroughs in food and beverage production, the Food Path: From Farm to Table initiative, and the social responsibility of companies operating in the sector.
According to the participants in the forum, the industry has done extremely well in the pandemic situation and the consumer has not experienced any supply problems.
"From the very beginning we managed to form a headquarters and overcome all differences in the name of the consumer" - said Iana Ivanova.
The competition on the market will continue to intensify, especially against the background of the forthcoming impoverishment of consumers in the forecasts for at least 7% decline in the country's economy and rising unemployment, says Iana Ivanova. consumers should not change their shopping habits.
Iana Ivanova also commented that the business has yet to adapt to current market conditions.
"We hope that now that the long-awaited Food Act and the Food Chain Management Act have been passed, businesses will be left to work. What we need is legal stability and sustainability to ensure the predictability of the business environment. . ”Ivanova added.