COVID-19 Impact on Rice Protein in the Food and Beverages Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the whole planet with its major impacts on the economy and businesses across the globe. The COVID-19 spread worldwide in unprecedented ways due to its high infectious and contagious nature and lack of availability of its vaccine. As a result, the greatest medical challenge in the 21st century is yet to be faced by physicians worldwide. Though the emergence of the virus can be traced back to Asia, many European countries along with the U.S. have been struck massively by the pandemic. The virus has spread across all regions ranging from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa up to South America. The COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) due to its increased spread across the globe. After the declaration of the pandemic, various countries announced the complete lockdown such as India, China, and other Asian countries to decrease its spread. According to the situation report of 27th October 2021 by WHO stated 244.3 million cases of the corona have been reported globally and 4.9 million patients are dead due to the coronavirus. On a slightly positive note, a total of 6.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global rice protein market significantly. The persistence of COVID-19 for a longer period has affected the supply chain as it got disrupted. It became difficult to supply the raw material for rice protein to the manufacturers, which has halted the manufacturing process. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the end-users of rice protein such as the sports & energy nutrition, bakery & confectionery, beverages, and dairy alternative industry are expecting a decline in the market due to the movement in restriction, de-globalization, loss of income, restriction on import and export of products, restriction in the supply of raw materials, among others. All these factors have impacted the market supply chain negatively. The COVID-19 has led to the lockdown worldwide, impacting the rice protein market tremendously as it leads to lack of availability of raw material, labor shortage, shipping problems, highly inflated prices, and others. Although The demand for rice protein has increased drastically after the COVID-19 owning to its functional property coupled with the growing demand for alternatives to animal protein and other plant protein such as soy and whey. Moreover, consumers are more inclined towards protein-rich food products and healthy food options. Growing demand for rice protein-coupled with changing lifestyles and healthy eating habits will ultimately increase the demand for rice protein. However, inflated prices of rice protein make it hard to afford for the consumers in developing countries and middle-class consumers coupled with a lack of awareness about rice proteins, which is expected to hamper the market's growth.
AFTERMATH OF COVID-19
Post the pandemic, the demand for rice protein would be increasing as there won't be any more restrictions on movement, and the procurement of raw material would be easy. The manufacturers could easily provide rice protein to the end-users such as sports & energy nutrition, bakery & confectionery, beverages, dairy alternative, and other industries. In addition, consumers' eating habits and lifestyles have been changed as they opt for gluten-free products enriched with protein content coupled with a rising trend of veganism will increase the demand for the rice protein market globally. Thus, the growing demand and inclination towards a healthy lifestyle and protein-rich food consumption are projected to increase the demand for rice protein globally.
IMPACT ON DEMAND AND SUPPLY CHAIN