The effects of coronavirus: what we’ll see on the shelves of grocery stores

Pandemic COVID-19 changed almost everything in our lives, and how we buy products, is no exception. This writes the Reader’s Digest.

Последствия коронавируса: чего мы больше не увидим на полках продуктовых магазинов

Photo: Shutterstock

“As consumers, we first saw just how fragile the supply chain,” says Phil Lempert, founder and editor of the Lempert Report and Even in large companies that produce our favorite (and now inaccessible) brands, there were problems with production and supplies to meet the demands of a pandemic level.

“I think in the next few months we will see how many brands eliminate some SKUs,” says Lempert, referring to units of storage or the individual products in the brand line.

In today’s environment, when the goal is to as quickly as possible to get out of the store, too much choice can lead to congestion . Many of the products and services that we have long taken for granted in grocery stores, have changed or have been eliminated. While some things may eventually return.


We used to buy as many goods as you had in stock. But when the March began, the quarantine associated with the coronavirus, people began to hoard hygiene items such as toilet paper, household cleaning products and paper towels. This has depleted the supply chain, which is still gaining momentum. This means that in the foreseeable future, shops will need to set restrictions on these goods.

Rainbow carrots

Before the pandemic Bolthouse Farms offered more than a dozen varieties of carrots, and now there are less than four, said CEO Jeff Dunn. The company has ruled out the rainbow carrots and carrots in French, presented in the assortment of purple, red and yellow hues. However, you can still buy orange carrots.

Self-service stations

According to Lempert, say goodbye, perhaps forever, with salad bars, bars, hot food bars and any other shop where clients unable to serve themselves.

“Sales there still fell in the last five or six years. And salad tongs never cleaned as it should. Now, in the era COVID-19, we understand how important this is. “This is the bell of death” for self,” says Lempert.


Coca-Cola announced that it would stop the release of Odwalla, its line of smoothies, protein drinks and premium juices. The company States that this decision was a result of the fact that “consumers are quickly changing their preference”, and the Odwalla brand “is experiencing persistent financial problems”. Lempert says that problems with the supply chain likely led to this decision.

Room service

Many stores had previously been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing convenience for replacement of workers and the people who love the night life. But when we started pandemic, most shops have reduced opening hours, and Lempert says that it is unlikely we will ever again see the 24-hour maintanence. “We don’t need this,’ he says. — And in order to properly clean and display the goods, the stores should be empty.”

Smucker’s Uncrustables

Don’t panic — they’re not all gone. But J. M. Smucker Co. ceases production, at least temporarily, some of Smucker’s reduced fat and reduced sugar. This corresponds to the trends that Lempert sees. “Many people snack more, eat much more comfort food and more food with sugar.” Reducing our consumption of fat and sugar, it seems, is not a priority at present, although Lempert says it is too early to say that this change in diet will last for a long time.

Deli meats

The choice of cuts available in the case of meat has decreased, partly due to outbreaks of coronavirus in enterprises for packaging of meat. Meat producers were forced to temporarily close plants, and those that remained open have had to focus their efforts on producing more of the main meat products. Add to this the fact that large orders in restaurants and schools significantly reduced, and it is not surprising that suppliers of meat had to adapt. As a result, the production of beef and pork in may declined by 25% and 15%, respectively, compared with a year earlier.

Frequent sales and promotions

A trademark, as well as some grocery chains have stopped sales, at least for a while. Companies such as Kellogg’s, J. M. Smucker and Mondelez International (the manufacturer of Oreos and other snacks), decided to stop the sales and promotions, while continuing pandemic. This step is intended to prevent the overflow of shops and disposal of products by consumers. Lempert says it is also difficult to make a sale when you don’t know what will be delivered and will be on the shelves. He expects the promotion will return to some extent, but not to prepandemic level, noting: “It is expensive for manufacturers and the costs of the supply chain to grow”.

Touch screens

Before the advent of the coronavirus in our world of touch screens was widespread — they appeared not only in supermarkets but also in restaurants, fast food, gas stations and check-in desks at airports. In an average supermarket checkout every day stretch 350 different people. Now that we understand the risk of infection, which represent these devices, experts expect that something — though we don’t know what will replace them. Until then, keep redominantly hand and right after that use a disinfectant for the hands.

Lean Cuisine

Nestlé has announced that it will stop production of several varieties of Lean Cuisine, saying that their sales do not cover the slowdown of production, which they did. “While chicken is a popular product at the moment, says Lempert. — The Carbonara sauce in this dish is the antithesis of health”, which may explain why sales are down. Frances Zelazny, Director of marketing Signals Analytics says that the focus on overall health and immunity, in particular, determines many of the decisions of consumers during the current crisis.


You can find your favorite beer brand Heineken in the fridge. The company reduced its range by 30% due to factors related to the coronavirus. Laurence Debroux, chief financial officer, said on a conference call that the measures of social distancing means that now each shift has fewer employees, which slows down production. It is reported that Debra said that the changes should be temporary, but anything is possible.

Coin operated children’s horse

If you, your children or grandchildren ever went on a guided coin horse near the entrance to the supermarket, and treasure all those memories. The next generation of children may miss out on it because of the virus and sanitation problems that he represents. In Colorado stores are King Soopers, owned by Kroger, have taken horses from all its stores, where they were always since 1947.



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