First of all, given the scenario brought by quarantine in 2020 with all the restrictions that forbade people to gather and imposed everyone a great changing in their habits, novel trends and ideas have come to light, accelerated by the demands of what we call new normal and propelled by the technological advancement required to make it possible.
Haven’t you seen that coming?
Neither have I, we have all been caught by surprise, but quarantine is happening right before your eyes, even if you haven’t noticed.
Certainly, the rapid spread of COVID-19 and ensuing global lockdowns forced an adjustment in people’s eating habits, mostly as a way of coping with the new normal forced by quarantine. In particular, baking has made a huge comeback, online shopping has become the norm, and many of us are getting way more takeout than we were before.
Therefore some people have resorted to eating treats to compensate the isolation, mainly in the begining of quarantine and as the time passed and social distancing remained, most people realized that they should cut down on junk food to preserve their health. So it has started a moviment towards concernment about what people eat during quarantine and what they should be eating to preserve their health and promote well being
Noticiable Changes brought by quarantine
To begin, quarantine has intensified the search for immunity-strengthening foods and supplements. A GlobalData survey in June 2020 found that 80% of global consumers are concerned about COVID-19, and 23% admit they’ve stockpiled more vitamins and supplements recently.
Also another survey from International Food Information Council (IFIC) with 1,011 U.S. adults shows that health seekers cite immune function 40% of the time, coming after weight management (62%), energy (57%), digestive (46%) and heart health (44%) in the list of food-management priorities. Finally a survey from OnePoll found 74% of respondents said cooking has been a successful coping mechanism to deal with the stress caused by quarantine of being home. Then other 44% said they have learned a new recipe during quarantine and 32% have taken an online cooking class.
In general, due to the quarantine shoppers have found new passions for cooking, they’ve purchased more items related to health and wellness, and more are eating breakfast at home every day compared to pre-COVID according to Whole Foods Market, the largest American chain of supermarkets that specializes in natural and organic foods.
Forbes reported in October 2020 that one of the trends for 2021 is a move towards healthy, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly eating. The IFIC’s 2020 Food & Health Survey found that 54% of all customers care more about the “healthfulness” of their food and beverage choices in 2020. As a result active dieting has increased, 18% of Americans are using health monitoring apps and 28% are eating more proteins made from plants.
what is being sought by consumers?
Foods designed to promote well-being have been popping up in supermarket shelves driven by the increasing demand for healthy claiming food. Among the feelgood foods are the superfoods, probiotics, broths and sauerkrauts.
Functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens are being incorporated to food to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system. There are also the plant based and plant forward foods, as long as a shift to more wholesome carbs from whole grains and ancient grains. More blended foods like the combination of mushrooms and ground beef are coming up and the blends are being extended to other proteins and vegetables.
Higher anxiety during the pandemic led to new products like PepsiCo’s new drink called Driftwell that is meant to help consumers relax and unwind before bed. The enhanced water drink contains 200 milligrams of L-theanine and 10% of the daily value of magnesium. This from a brand that was built on caffeine and high fructose corn syrup.
the new normal requires healthiness
Consumers aren’t just eating at home more because of quarantine, actually they’re also managing their health at home. Food technology has come a long way when it comes to information. Packaging contains more QR codes that can verify product and ingredient claims.
Customization is another trend that is taking place in shoppers preferences. Apps that produce reports for a shopper focusing on what one should and should not eat based on their personal traits and nutritional needs, when embed within the shopping experience, it can easily lead the individuals to the correct purchases that will satisfy both their eating desires and health maintenance.
In a nutshell, even when the pandemic ends, it’s not hard to imagine that people will remain wary of how their eating habits affect them. It’s likely that most of us will be eating healthier throughout 2021 and beyond.
What about you? Are you prepared to this new era of the food market brought by quarantine? Are you aware of how it’s affecting your life in the near future? Wanna be informed?
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