In times of crisis there are always opportunities, although not for everyone. In recent days, the site CentralAmericanData.com reported on optimism in the canned tuna sector following the COVID-19 pandemic, as a 50% increase in demand was forecast.

In Panama, for example, the inventory of canned tuna for the whole month of March was depleted in just three days. A representative of a Spanish company in the region told of increases in average daily sales of 80% to 300% in the first days of the crisis in El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Panic shopping for canned tuna - along with toilet paper - are now a phenomenon. Toilet paper is very bulky, and everyone knows you’ve got it when hauling it in a shopping cart. Likewise, it takes up a lot of space on the shelves and empties more quickly. Both facts can motivate us to buy it.

But what about tuna cans? They can hardly be seen in a shopping cart and one only realizes that they are running out when we approach the supermarket shelves. I remember during the H1N1 outbreak of 2009 in Mexico, there were no cans of tuna, but nobody took cans of “chilorio,” a pork dish from Northwest Mexico.

Without doubt, tuna is a healthy and easy-to-prepare food. I really enjoy it. But I think it has something that attracts us for emergencies. Could it be the 85-mm diameter by 35-mm thick can size? Could it be it fits in the palm of the hand or that it is a relatively safe food? There is something that hypnotizes us about this canned, non-perishable product.

What does canned tuna have that chicken, eggs or any other animal proteins do not? Poultry products are an excellent source of affordable, easy-to-prepare protein. Perhaps someone has already analyzed the canned tuna effect, but I am not aware it has been done. Or maybe I have the reasons are right in front of me and I don't see them.

It would be good to see what we can do with poultry products so that they become as indispensable in the kitchen pantries of crisis, as tuna cans are. And as well as toilet paper, of course!

What do you think?

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