Three Key Food & Beverage Trends Post COVID-19

1st July 2020

1st July 2020

Three Key Food & Beverage Trends Post COVID-19


Over the last few months, much attention has been given to consumers becoming increasingly concerned about their physical health as COVID-19 wreaked havoc across the globe. Whilst protecting immune health remains a priority for most consumers, several other trends are emerging across the globe after the pandemic has peaked and consumers adjust to the “new normal”. FMCG Gurus has identified three key trends that brands should pay close attention to in 2020 and beyond, based on three waves of surveys across eighteen countries conducted over the period April-July 2020.

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The War on Sugar will Intensify

In the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, high levels of uncertainty existed amongst consumers, with only 39% saying that they feel informed about the virus. High levels of worries about the health and well-being of loved ones and the state of the economy, combined with disruption to daily lives has had a profound impact on eating and drink habits over the last few months. Over the period April-July for instance, a total of 42% of consumers say that they have snacked more, whilst 20% have said they have been less attentive to calorie intake. Linked to this, 56% of consumers also say that they have turned to comfort food such as chocolate and confectionery more frequently, something that will have been driven by the need for moments of escapism.

As such, it is not surprising that over the period of April-July, there has been a month-on-month increase in the proportion of consumers who say that they are worried about their waistlines (21%-32%-37%). In the aftermath of COVID-19, consumers are looking to improve their health, with 79% saying that they are making plans to eat and drink healthier. This is something that will intensify the war on sugar in 2020 and beyond, as consumers look to trim waistlines because of the risk associated with immediate and long-term health issues.

Consumers will make Active Attempts to Address Mental Well-being

Whilst much attention has been given to the physical health implications of COVID-19, it is something that has also significantly impacted on the mental health of consumers. This has been brought about by disruptions to daily life and fear about the levels of destruction the virus can cause. For instance, a total of 41% of consumers say that they have become more conscious about their mental well-being because of coronavirus, whilst 18% say that they have become more worried about their sleep health. Linked to this, 27% also say that they have become more conscious about their daily energy levels. This shows that consumers are experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress, something which can impact on their ability to relax in the evening and leaving them fatigued throughout the day.

Across the globe, a total of 52% of consumers say that they think that COVID-19 will continue to disrupt daily lives for at least twelve months, whilst 69% believe that the world is heading towards recession. This is something that will continue to result in consumers being worried about a wide variety of issues such as the health and well-being of themselves and loved ones, the state of the economy and ability to handle daily living costs, and potential isolation and restrictions on movement being reintroduced. All of this will drive demand for products that help aid relaxation and mental well-being.

Consumer will want Products that Help Maximize Personal Relationships

Prior to the pandemic, lifestyles were increasingly characterized by time-scarcity as consumers looked to cram as many activities into the day as possible, struggling to switch off from personal and professional obligations. However, disruptions to daily lives and restrictions on movement has resulted in consumers having more free-time and a chance to re-evaluate their lifestyles prior to the pandemic. From this, many consumers have recognized that they didn’t spend as much time with loved ones as they would like to, something that has created a feeling of fear at a time when certain demographic groups are more vulnerable to serious health complications arising from COVID-19.

FMCG Gurus research for instance shows that 59% of consumers show a deep level of concern towards the health and well-being of loved ones because of the pandemic. This is resulting in consumers re-prioritizing what is important to them and looking to maximize personal relationships as they place greater emphasis on non-material wealth. For instance, 59% say that they have made efforts to communicate with loved ones via online channels such as zoom and Skype, 40% say that they have made greater efforts to sit down and eat together as a family and 37% have looked to replicate big nights in at-home. This is something that will help consumers improve their mental well-being by offering moments of escapism from the pressures of everyday life. As restrictions on movement continue to be lifted across the globe and loved ones can see each other face-to-face, there will be an increased demand for food and drink products positioned around encouraging people to spend good quality time together.

For more information on our COVID-19 Survey Series Please click here.

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