In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in March 2020 and ending in May, on-trade venues such as restaurants and cafés closed as Danes were obliged to stay at home. As a result, foodservice volume sales of coffee, tea and other hot drinks declined while retail sales, reflecting at-home consumption, increased, and they continue to increase even as restrictions are eased.
On 14 March, borders were closed and public transport restrictions imposed, with compulsory seat reservations for long distance and regional trains, with passenger capacity reduced by 80%. 18 March saw the closure of shopping centres, other than for access to pharmacies and grocery retailers.
On-trade venues selling hot drinks suffered greatly due to early pandemic-related closures and, more recently, due to restrictions that make visiting restaurants, cafes and other outlets that serve hot drinks less convenient and attractive. In addition, many Danes are simply still hesitant to visit public venues, including foodservice outlets, due to fears of becoming infected and/or spreading the virus.
Concerned about possible product shortages, for a short period of time in early 2020 consumers stockpiled supplies of coffee, tea and other soft drinks for consumption at home during the lockdown. But due to retailers’ strong distribution networks, those shortages never materialised and consumers’ shopping patterns soon normalised.
The lockdown and the closures of restaurants, cafés and other on-trade venues in early in 2020 significantly depressed foodservice volume sales of hot drinks. On-trade demand continues to struggle as many consumers, whether due to health-related concerns or due to the inconvenience of social distancing and other new rules, avoid public venues even as they reopen.
Foodservice is expected to bounce back over the forecast period as the impact of the pandemic dissipates, and this rebound is projected to be reflected by strong and steady growth of foodservice volume sales of hot drinks. Of course, many consumers who have increasingly become accustomed to enjoying their hot drinks at home in 2020 are expected to continue doing so, driving steady, albeit slow, rates of growth over the forecast period.
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