At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, emotional thinking contributed to panic buying by consumers, as well as some panic interventions by public agencies. As the pandemic has unfolded, more rational thinking started manifesting itself. It is likely that consumer demand for food safety, digital shopping, in addition to technology-driven retail and higher quality-assurance standards,will be more widely sought and embraced in the post-pandemic food
Households are eating out less and “cocooning” more at home as a precautionary measure. There are signs that businesses within the food chain are already adapting to such consumption shifts, for example by switching production lines and increasing their capacity to manage larger inventories; moving to online platforms where possible, embracing delivery to households and adjusting the size and nature of their packaging.
Some of the biggest sector challenges arise from measures needed to contain COVID-19; adjustments within the sector to comply with preventative measures (which may increase costs); and the need to find alternative markets for products affected as consumption habits shift in response to COVID-19.25 Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there does not yet appear to be a discernible trend in prices for food staples.
As mentioned earlier, this is partially due to considerably less panic buying and hoarding on the demand side than occurred in the 2007-08 food crisis. However, local markets for fresh horticulture and livestock products have been impacted. Demand and consumption have been adversely impacted because of declines in income and employment opportunities reducing the amount of money households have to spend.
At the same time, disruptions to production, processing, trade and transport have concurrently increased waste and driven up costs within the value chain lowering availabilities and raising costs to consumers. Because of these concurrent developments, prospects for meeting households’ “energy-sufficient” diets since COVID-19 appeared have not been seriously eroded but efforts to attain “nutrition adequate” diets for most households have suffered a serious setback.
Source : asean.org : COVID-19 PANDEMIC IMPLICATIONS ON AGRICULTURE AND FOOD TRADE IN ASEAN