How Has The Covid-19 Pandemic Affected The World's Great Food Markets?

Posted: Jan 26, 2021

All sectors of the global food industry have been hit hard by COVID-19, with a unique mixture of increased demand for some and a cliff-edge drop in demand for others, particularly bars and restaurants.

An area of the industry that perhaps sits somewhere in the middle is the food market sector, which despite facing repeated closures in countries around the world, has also arguably benefited from the wind of localism that has swept the globe as a result of the pandemic.

And it’s certainly something that Darren Henaghan, Managing Director of the world-famous Borough Market in London, has witnessed. “While the pandemic has led to a significant decline in overall footfall at Borough Market, we have definitely seen a resurgence in Londoners coming here for essential ingredients: fruit and veg, meat and fish, bread and cheese, condiments and spices,” he told New Food.

“Although fewer visitors have passed through the market, those that do, have often been buying more produce. Much of this is down to people doing more cooking at home, for which the range and quality of our traders’ produce has been a major draw.

“With opportunities for social interaction significantly curtailed, doing your shopping at a food market has also been something to savour – much more so than a trip to a soulless supermarket.”

This view was echoed by Lea Ligat of Markthalle Neun, a food and drink market in Berlin’s hip Kreuzberg neighbourhood: “We feel very lucky to have experienced immense support and solidarity from our customers. All our vendors are independent small businesses, and while it has been a very tough year for our gastronomic stands, our customers really supported all the farmers, cheesemongers, butchers and greengrocers in our market.

By Joshua Minchin
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