We’re always watching industry trends. You could say it’s kinda ‘our thing’. When consumer needs shift, so do trends. Which has made 2020 an interesting year, to say the least!
The response to the coronavirus pandemic by food retailers, manufacturers, and restaurants has been nothing short of inspiring. As we look at new products, business models, and behaviors popping up in the food industry, what remains to be seen is—will these trends continue after the pandemic is over? Read on for our predictions.
Delivery—it’s not just for pizza anymore. Before the pandemic, less than 5% of restaurant orders were for delivery, but that’s jumped considerably in the last 8 or so months. Many restaurants have made adjustments to prioritize delivery and take-out. But third-party delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats are the big winners in the food delivery equation, with 80% of non-pizza delivery orders being placed through such apps.
Given the convenience of food and grocery delivery, we have a hunch this is one habit that will definitely stick around.
The ‘quarantine kitchen’ was a big hit early in the year as restaurants closed and people hunkered down at home. Many months later, and home cooking is still going strong. That’s likely due in part to logistics, with more people working from home. Not to mention the positive effect on our wallets. However, it seems all the extra cooking has consumers fatigued. Meal kits and packaged foods are doing well as consumers look for more convenience and variety in the kitchen. Thus, we predict people will stick with the home cooking trend, but with tweaks.
General Mills Inc., the food maker whose umbrella includes Progresso, Cheerios, and Yoplait, has cut 40 soup varieties from its lineup since March. That’s almost half of the company’s offerings! What’s more, the company’s CEO says those flavors won’t be coming back.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean the Progresso soup empire is suffering. On the contrary, sales soared in Q2 2020 for the household brand. Rather, the reduced variety stems from logistics, with many retailers preferring to carry fewer products in stores as e-commerce takes the lead. For General Mills’ Progresso and other CPG brands, this could mean added focus on best-sellers. This particular trend began to catch on even before the pandemic, thus we expect things to continue in the same direction.
It should come as no surprise that vitamin and mineral supplements have seen a sharp rise in sales during this public health crisis. Immune and health-boosting products offer a ray of hope in times of COVID-19 (regardless of whether there’s proof of their effectiveness against the virus). Businesswire predicts a rise of almost 9% in the nutraceuticals industry from 2020 – 2024. That forecast is driven, in part, by the coronavirus pandemic. Nutraceuticals, the retail category where nutrition meets medicine, will see new products on shelves, new players in the space, and creative endeavors in marketing and placement.
Clearly, health will be an enduring trend beyond the pandemic. We’ve already witnessed a strengthened focus on self-care and a more proactive approach to health. How exactly this will take shape, no one knows. One thing’s for sure, we will be watching!
Understand how your industry is shifting in the face of COVID-19—the behavioral effects, the consequences, and the opportunities. Then ask yourself, how will you adjust your marketing strategy as a result?
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