Covid-19 Measures: Classic Fine Foods Debuts Its Online Grocery Store
As badly as the food and beverage industry has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are businesses that see these uniquely challenging times as an opportunity to bring forward plans to grow and diversify their customer base.
This was exactly the case with stalwart gourmet foods specialist Classic Fine Foods, which just launched its Classic Deli online grocery store this month. Offering a wide range of the quality products and produce it has been providing restaurants, hotels, caterers and retailers across Singapore the last 20 years, this new digital retail arm also marks the company’s first foray into the business-to-consumer market.
It had also managed to get the site and necessary logistics organised in record time. General manager Karen Tay noted a surge in the number of requests from consumers looking for such high-quality fresh produce and other food products to be delivered to their homes since the government started implementing tighter safety measures, as the nudge and affirmation it needed that the time is ripe.
“We noticed that demand for home deliveries for food products is on a sharp rise,” Tay explains, noting how stocks were running low for some businesses, while delivery slots offered by major existing retail players were also limited, particularly at the start of the circuit breaker.
“We knew that we had the capability to launch a retail site, as we have both the stocks and delivery capacity, given the drop in our foodservice business. Therefore, we rushed to develop an online B2C platform, which can easily and best serve this customer group.”
This means home cooks now have easy access to products served at top restaurants, such as Sanchoku Wagyu beef that Chris Millar at Stellar at 1-Altitude prefers, and Pamplie Charentes-Poitou PDO butter that Les Amis’ Sebastien Lepinoy uses. There’s even a choice between pasture fed lamb from New Zealand and a grain fed alternative from Australia.
Gems from the ocean include frozen carabinero prawns and langoustines. And if you’re looking for plant-based alternatives, you can finally try your hand at cooking with Impossible Foods’ halal-certified Impossible Burger patties.
Tay goes on to affirm that there are discerning consumers out there who value such offerings. “We try our best to achieve this competitive pricing by maintaining as much control as we can over our supply chain,” she adds.
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It’s an unsurprising move, but one that also reflects the need for businesses to adapt. “The key is for us to remain relevant to our customers, including those who have changed their menus to a new, limited one,” Tay shares, including restaurants that have resorted to offering takeaways. “There is much debate on the extent to which our industry will change; only time will tell. But there is no dispute on whether things will change, hence we must remain agile and be prepared to meet new challenges and opportunities.”