In Argentina, the first Latin American country to report a death from the virus, concerned citizens have been stocking up on basic products as they get ready for extended periods of isolation which, in some cases, has led to empty shelves. However, according to Monica Ganley, principal at Buenos Aires-based agri-food consultancy firm Quarterra, the reaction has not been as severe as in Europe or the US.
“In many cases, consumers don't have enough expendable income to purchase huge amounts of product at a given time.”
Although demand spikes could well produce some supply hiccups, the fact that many of Argentina’s basic food products are manufactured locally means major disruptions over the medium term could be avoided, she added.
“Of course, manufacturing and distribution will slow as increasing numbers of employees stay home. However, I am optimistic that the supply chain and inventories will be robust enough to avert a major disaster,” she told FoodNavigator-LATAM.