Rainforest responds to COVID with new services

Rainforest responds to COVID with new services

Rainforest pivots into value deals amidst COVID-19

BY KELLARAY MILES
Businesss reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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Rainforest Seafood has found new and creative ways to connect with consumers and at the same time offload excess supplies and pivot from the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The seafood processing and distributing entity said that with the closure of the hospitality sector back in March, they had to devise new strategies of how to get products out.

“As a company we quickly had to pivot and find ways to move this inventory, and so our value deals were ideated,” shared Roger Lyn, director of marketing and corporate affairs in responding to questions from the Jamaica Observer late last week.

“The deals have allowed us to give Jamaican consumers a much-needed break. Every week, for the last eight weeks, we have offered a bundle that includes a variety of seafood in combination with frozen potato products, vegetables and other proteins for up to 50 per cent off. Customers can purchase these deals on select days at our factory outlets in Kingston and Montego Bay, at our contactless, drive-through system,” he further told the Business Observer.

Now supplying some 15 countries across the Caribbean, with Jamaica as its hub, the company said that while sales have not been significantly affected they, like other businesses, have also had to grapple with adverse effects brought on by the pandemic.

“We've had to readjust our sales target for 2020. The hole in the economy due to the loss of the hotel and hospitality sector is not easily filled. Most Jamaican businesses will be impacted negatively and the order of the day becomes survival – not profit or revenue maximisation.

“We're proud that our value deals — one of our strategies to weather the pandemic — have been able to provide our customers with healthy, delicious and nutritious food at very affordable costs, during a time when they need it the most whilst generating well-needed cash flow for the company,” Lyn said.

He described the response so far as being overwhelmingly positive and reported that customers are very pleased with the deals offered, along with the addition of the contactless drive-through system wherein they can avoid leaving the comfort of their vehicle when purchasiing the deals. He noted the Mothers' Day deal (offered May 6-9) as the best-performing bundle thus far.

“The combination of oxtail and seafood appealed to a wide cross section of Jamaicans who turned out in their numbers to purchase at both our Kingston and Montego Bay locations, to treat their mothers,” he noted.

The company said like many other businesses which have been forced to do new things in order to stay afloat amidst the challenging economic environment, they also have had to rethink strategies and come up with new ideas to propel the business forward.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching effects on our entire company but we are impressed with how our team has quickly adapted and innovated, given the constraints and the fluid situation. Our restaurants have had to adapt to the various curfew hours, closing earlier than usual and therefore losing the evening and after-work shoppers. To counter this, we have added new services like curbside pickup and home delivery where possible, to better reach our customers,” Lyn also told the Business Observer.

He further said that given the dynamic times in which businesses must now operate, they will be taking a weekly approach in navigating the uncertainties and putting together value deals that will fulfill customer satisfaction.

“This pandemic has taught us many lessons, including some about consumer behaviour and their shopping habits. It has highlighted that our customers crave affordable, healthy products and convenient ways to purchase them.

“In that vein, our goal is to continue in our duty to feed the nation and the region in this regard,” he said.

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