Austria – Corona causes ups and downs in grocery purchases

The corona pandemic has mixed up the grocery shopping of Mr and Mrs Austrians. Whereas at the beginning of 2020 there was an increase in sales of 5.1 percent due to the hamster purchases, this collapsed by 5.3 percent in the second quarter because of the full food. A “rollercoaster ride”, the trade association for the food industry reported on Friday. Despite the recent increase in sales before and in the second lockdown, the bottom line for food producers was a minus in 2020.

The food industry expects to end 2020 with a minus of 1.3 percent. The reasons for this are the long lockdown in gastronomy and the many cancellations at cultural and sporting events. The slump in tourism also hit many suppliers hard, and many employees ate lunch at home instead of in the company canteen.

In the spring, many of the around 27,000 employees in the industry had to work extra shifts to refill the sometimes empty shelves in the supermarkets. Especially in the first lockdown, the Austrians had stocked up on canned food, pasta and other long-lasting foods. Toilet paper and yeast were also temporarily sold out in March 2020. Soldiers helped out in the grocery chain stores.

“Need powerful food industry”

The coronavirus crisis made it clear to the stakeholders: “We need a high-performance food industry and a stable EU internal market. Together, they guarantee a functioning economy and secure supplies for the population, both in normal operations and in times of crisis.”

The industry mainly exported energy drinks, iced tea and lemonades as well as dairy products and animal feed. Two out of three domestically produced food and beverages are reportedly sold in more than 180 markets across the globe. (apa)

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