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.
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
The demand and supply for rice protein had initially decreased during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic because of lockdown. Consumers were only focusing on purchasing necessary basic products and weren’t focusing on rice protein products. In addition, due to restrictions on movement, there was a halt on the manufacturing process of rice protein as COVID-19 has led to a loss of labor, lack of availability of raw material, and others. But after the lockdown was lifted, the demand for rice protein products has increased as the awareness regarding the functional properties as well as health benefits of rice protein. Consumers have become more aware of the protein-rich content of rice protein and are opting for functional food like rice protein products. Moreover, growing health concerns surrounding the consumption of meat products and several animal disease outbreaks in recent years will boost the demand for rice protein. The rising demand is enabling manufacturers to launch new products in the market even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
· In July 2021, According to William Reed Business Media Ltd, Cambridge Commodities announced the launch of plant-based clear rice protein powders in three different flavors such as cherry cola, tropical, and strawberry & kiwi
· In October 2020, According to SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY, Milk Specialties Global launched a product named PROriz brown rice protein in the U.S.
The increase in the number of launches to fulfill the demand of end-users of rice protein even during the pandemic is expected to boost the market’s growth. However, the product's high prices are major restraining factors for the global rice protein market.
IMPACT ON PRICE
The demand for rice protein is increasing after the Covid-19 outbreak which has directly increased the prices of rice protein. The manufacturing process of rice protein is comparatively tricky and time-consuming as it involves the process of grinding and enzyme treatment for separating starch or carbohydrates from protein. The raw material used is also of high quality. Hence, all these factors make the total price of rice protein higher. Moreover, during the COVID-19, the supply chain has been affected, which has directly impacted consumers' demand of consumers, but after the pandemic was over, there was a sudden surge in demand for rice protein as the awareness regarding the health benefits of rice protein has increased among consumers and other manufacturing facilities such as food and beverage industry, which require rice protein as an ingredient. The rising demand for rice protein after the pandemic for various end-use has increased the prices of rice protein.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER COVID-19 TO GAIN COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE
In 2020, the market share of rice protein was significantly affected by the COVID-19. The manufacturers of the rice protein were facing a significant challenge during COVID-19 due to lack of transportation and disruption in the supply chain. As a result, the prices of rice protein increased significantly. The manufacturers should take certain strategic decisions to gain a competitive market share post-COVID-19 such as label-centric marketing strategies or production of premium quality products. To gain a significant market share, they are focusing on labels such as “plant-based protein”, “vegan”, “soy free” and others to attract more consumer base. Moreover, several manufacturers are more focused on producing premium quality products to fulfill the demand of consumers. These strategies could help the manufacturer in gaining a competitive share in the rice protein market in the forecasted period.
COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost all industries, including the rice protein, across the world. Also, the outbreak has affected the economy on a global level. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the lockdown worldwide, impacting the demand and supply of rice protein. But after the lift of the lockdown, the demand for rice protein has suddenly increased as the demand for protein-rich food products increased. With the growing trend of veganism and change in consumers’ lifestyles and eating habits, the demand for rice protein has increased, boosting the market's growth. Moreover, after the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers prefer functional food products that include rice protein as an ingredient coupled with the rising awareness of the health benefits of rice protein among consumers is expected to propel the growth of the market. However, with the rise in demand, the prices of rice protein are also increasing, which may hamper the market's growth as it makes it hard to afford high-priced products in developing countries.