Coronavirus Impacts Restaurant Demand & Creates Food Distribution Challenges
Joel Haggard is the U.S. Meat Export Federation's senior vice president of Asia Pacific and is based in Hong Kong. He offers observations on how the spread of coronavirus is impacting food demand and distribution in the Greater China region.
"Despite rumors to the contrary, ports are functioning and imported goods continue to enter China" said Haggard. "Even during the height of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that struck China/Hong Kong in 2003-2004, ports operated with little interruption."
Haggard explains that the Chinese government is taking measures to ensure that food distribution channels function as smoothly as possible. He says restaurants and hotels will feel the most immediate impact due to travel restrictions and the tendency for consumers to dine out less frequently, but Haggard expects demand at supermarkets to remain strong.