From online grocery to local products, from healthy food to home-cooked meals, some food trends that are gaining strength due to the coronavirus pandemic seem destined to last afterwards.
According to a small survey of 300 US consumers conducted in early April by market researcher AMC Global and OpinionRoute, after the pandemic is considered over, 38% of U.S. consumers say that they will support local businesses more in the future, 32% say they plan on making more home cooked meals, and 35% say they will spend more time with family. A third of respondents said they were baking more than usual during the pandemic, with 20% predicting they would continue to bake more in future.
A similar pattern emerged for online grocery shopping: 52% of consumers are currently increasing online grocery shopping, but expect to go back to shopping in-store after, with 25% seeing online grocery shopping as a continued behavior.
THE MOST POPULAR FOOD TRENDS AT THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
However, experts do not expect people to significantly increase their consumption of heavily processed foods after the pandemic. In fact, most consumers look to eat more vegetables, fruit, and fresh foods going forward.
Frozen food and vegetables may also benefit from increased trial during the pandemic. Survey respondents look to reduce their consumption of processed food with high carbs, salt, fat, and sugar.
Moreover, a number of respondents expect to eat more plant-based food, which could support the growth of the category. Almost 30% of respondents say they have started to eat more healthily and intend to continue, with 38% looking for real food with simple ingredients, 35% caring about general wellbeing, 33% looking to lose weight, and 21% looking to manage existing health conditions. Some also highlighted frozen foods and vegetables, as COVID-19 has introduced more trial in the frozen category.
That said, about? 24% of consumers have increased their consumption of indulgent snacks, led by younger consumers under 30.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, about 60% of survey respondents have been cooking more from scratch, while 28% have been eating more pre-prepared meals at home (e.g., frozen meals, mac & cheese, canned soup, frozen pizza).
HOMECOOKING, STATE BY STATE
According to a survey by porch.com, regarding home-cooking activity, the Empire State rules supreme. Some might find this surprising given New York City’s illustrious takeout reputation, but the state’s high cost of living makes saving by cooking at home seem pretty attractive. In fact, this reality held true for each of the top three homecooking states: California and Hawaii are also among the most expensive places to live in America. Additionally, homecooking posts were concentrated on either coast, with Illinois the lone Midwestern state to crack the top 10. At the other end of the spectrum, either the Dakotas aren’t doing much home cooking, or they’re keeping their culinary creations off Instagram. Mississippi and Alabama had the third and fourth fewest homecooking posts respectively, a concerning trend for states in which public health concerns about residents’ diets continue. Multiple studies suggest consistent home cooking can lead to a more balanced diet than frequently eating out.
As for shopping channels, about 60% of respondents have continued to shop for groceries in store, although they have been buying more on each trip to reduce the number of trips they have to make, said the report.
Around 14% have been buying more food online for pick up in store and about 11% have been buying more food online for home delivery, a trend led by higher income households.