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  • Writer's pictureMartijn

November 30th: Happy "mate" day

Following the rule of "never a dull moment", I just want to point out that today is National "mate" day in Argentina. In addition to being an uplifting beverage like tea or coffee, "mate" is a traditional and highly social practice here that involves passing around a gourd with "yerba mate" mixed with hot water and drinking it through a straw, one after the other (for more detail on mate and the tradition, please see my July 12th post). Due to Covid-19, sanitary recommendations now mention "do not share your mate" which has probably led to a boom in the mate-gourd and mate-straw industry since all of a sudden an item that was shared in households/workplaces/groups friends needed to be individually owned.

I often wonder about which industries benefited from the pandemic and clearly this local industry needs to be added to the list, next to the more famous ones: Zoom; Netflix; bleach, hand sanitizer and face mask manufacturers; fitness equipment and apps; furniture and home improvement; postage and delivery services; online marketplaces; pizza, comfort food and spirits; online dating sites, video games, computer equipment and discounters because unfortunately there is way less money to spend on things other than mate-straws and disinfectants.

The pharma industry is also on the list of course, and will continue there as the vaccine roll-out progresses. In parallel they probably have quite some success with other pandemic related medications, for hangovers or weight loss for example. Indeed,a quick internet search reveals that:

- Italians would have emerged from two months of lockdown an average 2kg (4.4lbs) heavier.

- In France, the impact of lockdown on people’s physiques was even more pronounced, with the average citizen gaining 2.5kg (5.5lbs).

- 47% of Brits say they have put on weight since lockdown began in March, “with more than 16% gaining 2.2kg (5lbs) or more in the first six weeks”

- Average Americans Have Drunk & Eaten Their Way To An Extra 5lbs During Lockdown...

...which reminds me of a spot-on meme that you have likely seen and that made me laugh a few months ago:

So to be a responsible citizen, I will skip the champagne and celebrate this National day with a good mate, using my own straw. Cheers!

And if you can think of other unexpected industries that have had the fortune of benefiting fro the pandemic, please share:)

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