Food remains a necessity for the well-being and survival of our population, and the Jamaican agri-food sector and all its stakeholders have automatically assumed the spotlight since COVID-19. More people are eating home-prepared meals, as physical distancing and cost-cutting measures have made dining out and restaurant-prepared foods a distant memory for many. Also, consumer grocery shopping habits had to be adjusted mostly to accommodate curfew and crowd-control limits.
Like any crisis, the pandemic has created a surge in innovative services and new offerings for consumers. As a result, online shopping and home delivery options have emerged at a rate never seen before. To adjust to this new normal, Jamaicans are being forced to rethink and do things differently. As a result, the food marketplace has become more popular, with opportunities for new and existing small businesses, increased marketing by big players in the industry, and a general reshuffle of government food distribution channels. With no end to COVID-19 yet in sight, it is difficult to predict the long-term impact on Jamaica’s food landscape.