The health crisis has changed the public’s perception of plastic in the packaging of fresh products. Before the crisis, the rejection of plastic in the packaging of fresh products had been the subject of debates in the agri-food sector. The health crisis helped many people to start seeing this material as a security element, stated the directors of Anecoop, Coopaman, and Kiwi Atlantico in their participation in the virtual seminar “Companies facing the COVID-19 challenge: The adaptation of the primary sector to the new reality”, organized by the Ainia technology center, in Paterna (Valencia).
According to the general director of Anecoop, Joan Mir, the negative attitude towards plastic will continue, but it will not be as demanding as it was before the pandemic. Meanwhile, the director of Coopaman, David Rodriguez, thinks that the tendency to avoid plastic in food has changed because it is now being perceived as an element of security.
In turn, the director of Kiwi Atlantico, Carlos Vila, stated that plastic “is going to stay longer than expected.”
The heads of the three companies also said that when the crisis passes, they will continue with their research and development (R&D) projects and will influence health approaches, as consumers have opted to buy more fresh products and less processed products in the past weeks.
Mir said that Anecoop had several projects with university teams, one of which focuses on the organoleptic properties of citrus fruits, whose demand in Europe has increased considerably due to its vitamin C content for the protection of the immune system.
According to their data, Anecoop has registered a spectacular rise in orders for citrus, carrots, and horticultural preparations for stew; in contrast, there’s been a drop in orders for berry, exotic fruits, and cut fruit preparations.
Vila said that Kiwi Atlantico experienced a 40% increase in the output of its fruit during the state of alarm, which forced the company to end its marketing campaign this week instead of in early June.
“There is a trend, and that trend is that consumers are purchasing more fresh produce than ever,” said Rodriguez from Cooopaman, adding that they should take advantage of this trend to carry out an effective and proactive campaign in favor of fruit consumption, such as the “Live Healthy. Fruits and Vegetables” campaign.
Regarding the increase in fruit and vegetable prices during the coronavirus crisis, the three businessmen agreed that it was due to increase in costs caused by the security, distance, and logistics measures the sector had to implement because of the crisis, and not because the sector wanted to increase their profit margins.