A woman wipes her sweat as she goes shopping at AEON supermarket last May. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Pandemic Causes People to Make Healthier Shopping Choices

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

AUGUST 31, 2020

Jakarta. The Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged people to increase the purchase of healthy products to boost their immunity against the disease.

According to Megawati Simanjuntak, a lecturer at the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), health products such as nutritious food items are currently in high demand.

"Healthy food, supplements, nutrient-packed drinks like milk and yogurt are the most searched products. This is because consumers now pay more attention to products that serve value for their health," Megawati said in a statement on Saturday.

University of Indonesia's Nutrition and Health Studies Center (PKGK UI) head Ahmad Syafiq said keeping the immune system healthy is a must during the pandemic.

People should consume food and drinks rich in animal proteins, which provide essential amino acids for cell repair and immunity. Animal protein sources include milk, meat, and eggs, Syafiq said.

That trend was one among several shopping preferences are undergoing several significant changes amid the pandemic. A recent journal published by McKinsey suggested rather than price, people will look at the value of a product first before purchasing.

Nowadays, consumers tend to search for health benefits in a product mainly to keep the virus at bay.

Milk producer Frisian Flag aims to make both health-related information and products more accessible for all. And to commemorate National Consumer Day on Sep. 4, the company makes information on balanced nutrition is available on social media or its official website.

Parents can access customer care 0- 800-1821406 (Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.30 pm) or e-mail layanan.peduli@frieslandcampina.com for consultation on child growth with a nutritionist.

"Nutrition literacy for our health or the family is important as the basic understanding for behavior changes needed to build a strong Indonesian family," Andrew F. Saputro, Frisian Flag Indonesia, corporate affairs director said.

Frisian Flag has also started selling its products online to adapt to another changing shopping trends during the pandemic.

A survey by Nielsen also showed that 30 percent of respondents planned to shop online more often following the government's stay-at-home policy. 

Central Statistics Agency reported online sales had grown significantly from February to July 2020. In March, online sales soared 320 percent and later jumped by 480 percent in April compared to the beginning of the year.

Frisian Flag has opened up official stores on several e-commerce channels. Last May, they have also rolled out a home delivery service.

Despite the mobility restrictions, Frisian Flag ensured that its products are still easy to get so consumers can serve nutritious drinks for themselves and their families, Andrew said.

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