As the virus spread around the world, countries were in various stages of lockdown, which affected the supply of ingredients to the food manufacturing market.
Tasneem Alonzo, joint managing director, Lähde brand by EHL Ingredients said there had been “significant shifts” in demand for its products and disruptions
to the supply chain as logistics and shipping were affected.
“There have been shortages of products from China such as garlic, ginger and sunflower seeds, and India has had challenges with exporting which has affected dried onion and chilli, as well as rice from both regions,” she said. “But this is stabilising now and we are working hard to fulfil orders with our customers and to keep prices stable.”
But while reopening of many foodservice outlets has boosted sales, product demand has changed due to venues streamlining menus to focus on best-selling lines and popular dishes.
“As a result, many of our foodservice and catering customers have reduced or cancelled orders for items such as pine nuts and almonds, and secured more supplies of store cupboard essentials such as flours, rice, lentils and kidney beans, as well as black pepper, popular spices and dried herbs such as coriander, cumin, paprika and oregano,” Alonzo added.
“More recently, we’ve experienced increases in demand for some of our herb and spice blends such as curry powders, BBQ marinades, herb blends for pies and pasties, and more unusual seasonings such as Ras El Hanout, Za’atar, and Harissa.”
According to Alonzo free-from, vegetarian, and vegan alternatives on menus are remaining popular with consumers.
“Foods such as cauliflower steak, halloumi, seitan, sausages and plant-based burgers are in high demand so it’s key to ensure dishes are hitting all the key notes in terms of flavour, texture, aroma, visual appeal and overall satisfaction,”she said.
In January, the ingredients supplier revealed that jackfruit, tempeh and seitan were likely to appear much more frequently on supermarket shelves in 2020 as the plant-based boom continued.