The COVID-19 outbreak and the country-wide lockdown that followed has affected and changed consumer patterns and trends. Industries that largely depended on the consumer choices, behaviour, and needs will have to come up with innovative solutions to address them. As the food industry and consumers are co-dependant, the product trends change as per the consumer choices and demands. The fluctuating consumer choices plus demands are influenced by the market patterns and trends. Hence, it becomes even more important to understand these major industry-related changes, the lifestyle changes causing it, and how to turn it into an opportunity!
Here are a few emerging trends which might sustain in the post COVID-19 world too:
- Behind the Scenes
Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, hygiene has been a driving factor for consumers in almost every economic and non-economic industry. The food industry too saw a similar shift, with customers demanding to know “behind the food scenes.” In fact, consumers absolutely want to know about the hands that prepare the food and the functioning of the kitchen.
Implementation of safety and hygiene standards in the kitchen and proper management of food safety systems became the topmost deciding factor for consumers. Implementation, auditing as well as certification of these processes is a must for food businesses to survive in the post pandemic world.
- Food and Health
With the sudden need to boost body immunity, consumers across the world were given a chance to refocus on their health. This has encouraged them to filter processed foods and ingredients or components that could pose any threat to their well-being. Consumers are hence conducting autopsies on their food products by ‘dissecting’ nutrition labels and ingredients to understand what they’ll be eating.
Overall health awareness among consumers has given rise to a surge in the diet-friendly, organic, and less-processed food market, as well as the highly processed, value-added, fortified food market.
- Consumer-Food Relationship
The unexpectedly long lockdown encouraged consumers to engage in home-cooking sessions, especially native dishes, and nostalgia food. This has opened fresh opportunities for the processed food industry. Market researchers have noticed a spike in demand for ready to eat, nutritious, single portioned products.
Consumers have over time built a relationship with their food that ties them together through emotions, memories, and the feeling of belongingness. Fresh markets for food products that strengthen the relationship and leverage it at the same time promise a lot of potential.
Adapting to the new reality is essential to overcome the challenges brought forth by the pandemic and build better food systems. These steps in the long run establish quality food monitoring systems that promise to protect public health and nutrition.
To ease these new challenges. Equinox Labs has introduced a definitive safety certification for restaurants known as Safe Place to Dine to audit and certify their safety parameters based on their level of compliance. At a critical time like this, restaurants and hotels need to be extra careful and ensure round-the-clock safety by automated services like Hygiene Quotient, which is an app-based service to help build a safer space by monitoring your site’s daily safety and hygiene compliance through technology and innovation.