Although there have been several notable events this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the food and beverage industry.
The pandemic altered how people shop, socialize, entertain themselves, and more, which is why it will be the most critical driver of food and beverage trends in the coming year. Products that encourage health and wellbeing, escapism, and affordability will be highlighted because they alleviate many of the problems that consumers are experiencing in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Staying fit, eating a healthier diet, and taking steps to improve mental wellbeing will be the focus of health and wellness in 2021. The need for protection would be a new consideration for the food and beverage industry, affecting how and where customers shop.
Because of the volatility in the economy, consumers would be more cost-conscious, move demand for value. However, premium goods that offer entertaining experiences will continue to fill the gap left by other sources of entertainment that customers lack as a result of the pandemic, such as travel and dining out. Many goods in 2021 will meet different customer needs, and these patterns will not be mutually exclusive. Imbibe forecasts the following ways based on these considerations:
Improved physical condition
Consumers can strive to enhance their physical health by paying more attention to macronutrients, maintaining a healthy weight, and selecting recommended items to increase immunity. The focus will be on ingredients that promote gut health, increase hydration, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Elderberry, acerola plum, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and turmeric are examples of naturally high superfoods in immune-boosting ingredients. Brands will also add ingredients like zinc, vitamin C, probiotics, and prebiotics to their products.
Consumers would also be motivated to get in shape to lose weight gained during quarantine and boost their overall health. They will introduce Protein beverages, electrolyte replenishers, performance enhancers, energy boosters, and weight loss elixirs more frequently.
We will use Clean label, plant, and diet-friendly ingredients to distinguish products, combining multiple functional elements in a single product to give customers more bang for their buck.
For many customers, stress is at an all-time high, affecting more than just their mood. Consumers will search out items that help them relax, think more clearly, and sleep better. Brands can also use adaptogens, CBD, and l-theanine to help customers unwind.
Consumers would also seek comfort in the familiar, driving up demand for comfort food and nostalgia. Brands should concentrate on introducing permissibly indulgent items made with better-for-you ingredients to offer the emotional advantages of comfort food without jeopardizing physical health goals.
Sugar will be reduced or replaced with natural low-calorie sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, and allulose, improve nutrient density, and use plant, usable, and clean-label ingredients. Another way to bring warmth is to use nostalgic flavors like s’mores or birthday cake from your childhood or seasonal flavors like lemonade in the summer and pumpkin in the fall.
As a result of the pandemic’s disruption, nostalgia can take on new shapes, such as familiar product styles enhanced with novel ingredients or novel products with nostalgic flavors.
Consumers will search for items that offer adventurous opportunities at home while spending less time traveling and eating out. Premium bar choices such as ready-to-drink drinks, which provide a similar experience to hand-crafted varieties but don’t entail the purchase of several ingredients, would see increased demand. There will also be an increase in healthier beverages such as hard kombucha, enhanced beer, cider, and seltzer.
Additionally, do-it-yourself (DIY) kits that relieve boredom and provide experiences comparable to food service will see a revival. Meal kits can be purchased by consumers, with many of them coming from foodservice companies. DIY alcohol fermentation, mixology, alternative dairy milk, kombucha, and other kits will be popular.
In place of vacationing abroad, I would prefer globally influenced goods and flavors. Brands will explore Mediterranean flavors such as blood orange, orange blossom, bergamot, figs, and dates. Flavors from Latin America, such as guava, chamoy, and mango chili lime, will continue to expand, as will flavors from Asia, such as yuzu, tamarind, and cardamom.
Consumers make purchasing decisions based on what makes them feel healthy, which will have several implications for the food and beverage industry. To feel comfortable dining out, foodservice brands would need to be open about their business practices.
Because of concerns about safety and contamination, consumers will pay more attention to the product packaging and be more tolerant of single-use and tamper-proof packaging. The surge in online shopping will continue until disease rates drop significantly and a vaccine becomes widely available.
For a Lower Price, You Gets More.
Consumers are stocking up on groceries for weeks to months due to rising infection rates, but they must make such purchases at a lower price point due to economic instability.
Private label brands will introduce products in growing categories such as dairy substitute milk, immunity drinks, and alcohol, resulting in an explosion of innovation. Consumers will benefit from introducing multi-serve items, variety packs of different flavors, and shelf-stable choices from well-known brands.