BEIJING — “This is what we call ‘sub-optimal’ in the bat meat industry,” says Robert Sakheim, President of Hormel Foods Asia, of the on-going pandemic widely believed to have started with bats. As the virus ravages humanity, Hormel executives are scrambling to adjust course.
“We’ve spent the last 18 months repositioning the brand to launch in Western Markets and ride the wave of exotic delights from the Orient;” laments Sakheim, “bat jerky was going to be the next mochi ice cream. Now we have ninety tonnes of dried batwings that no one wants.”
The novel coronavirus has left virtually no industry untouched, and Congress has passed aggressive measures to buoy the economy. Such responses have been piecemeal at best, say representatives from sectors that rely on consumer spending, and will not address the effects of a prolonged recession.
“However, there might be a silver lining,” adds, Sakheim, “with the population dropping around the world, there’s definitely a growing market for Long Pig.”