Page 6 - Food&Drink Business Magazine July-August 2020
P. 6

With bounce-back comes big opportunity
When a global pandemic focuses attention on protecting business, it’s hard to think about growth. Managing director Asia Pacific for global food service company Compass Group Mark van Dyck says this is a time of massive opportunity.
AUSTRALIAN food and beverage businesses risk missing critical Asian opportunities in post-COVID-19 bounce-back.
The most difficult time to think about growth is the same time it needs to be top of mind. Unless we do, all of us in the F&B business in Australia will miss out on one of the biggest opportunities in a very long time at a point when we really need to jump-start our economy.
China was the first country to go into lockdown and is the first country to come out. That’s not only good news for Australia but it’s equally good for Asian trade. While China’s economy is operating below capacity, food and drink are rebounding strongly, building on long- running trends.
Right now in China, McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks are reporting up to 99 per cent of their stores open, some with limited services. Apple stores are open, Shanghai Disneyland has opened to limited numbers and due to swine flu, shipments of American pork to China more than quadrupled from mid-March.
More than 85 per cent of small – and medium-sized enterprises are back at work and more than 35 million students had returned to school by mid-April.
According to Shanghai-based IQC Insights, many local governments are releasing consumer vouchers by cooperating with retail, catering and tourism industries to stimulate economic recovery.
All these measures will boost domestic consumer demand, especially for meat and other foods in offline restaurants, schools and various agencies. So, in China, we are in recovery mode already.
There’s been talk suggesting Australia has hit peak market share in China so there’s a need to diversify to other Asian markets. And there are big opportunities in countries like Indonesia. For example, Australia’s two-way trade with Indonesia (population 273 million) is about $16.8 billion a
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