Food Trends in the Pandemic
Updated: Jan 19
by Jolita Abromaityte
To better serve our clients, we have done the research on how the lockdown is impacting customer eating habits. Here are 6 trends we've identified and our recommendations based on what we’ve learned.
Cooking and baking relieve stress
While we are confined to the four walls of our homes, cooking and baking become not just a necessity, but a form of entertainment. Scientists say that baking can help reduce stress, but if you love baking or cooking in general, you probably don’t need science-backed data to know that making food is a great form of relaxation! No wonder more and more people are trying their hand at cooking. It’s a great skill to tackle and try out, there just wasn’t enough time before. Cooking is also a great way to get your whole family involved. You can even try sharing recipes and tips virtually! It’s a fun way to teach and spend time with kids and can be a great way of recreating memories from travels. Anything is possible on a plate; create themed menus based on travel locations you’ve been dreaming of. Even if you have never been to Thailand, India, or Italy, food can transport you anywhere.
Leftovers have never been so in vogue
Now more than ever leftovers matter. We have to be mindful of grocery store trip frequency, and many budgets need to stretch further. Why waste food when there are so many delicious meals to be made? From using up meat leftovers to never throwing away another onion skin, the internet is awash with tasty recipes keeping food economy in mind. Did you know you can use cheese rind for stock-making? Or that kiwi peel can tenderize steak? Neither did we! Check out this article for more unusual tips that will be handy in the kitchen and minimize food waste.
In these times of uncertainty, budgeting is now more important than ever. Think about how you can help customers save.
Make your own pantry staples
The stockpiling craze may be behind us, but we still miss some pantry staples required for everyday meals. With infrequent shopping trips, it can be even more challenging, but it appears it doesn’t have to! People are sharing their delicious recipes to make their own. From ketchup to pesto and taco seasoning- nearly everything can be homemade. Have plenty of free time? Then you’ll love this post, featuring one hundred cool pantry staple recipes.
SIMPLE CAN ALSO BE DELICIOUS
Most of us are now forced to come up with three meals a day. But what do you do when gourmet cooking isn’t a part of your DNA and/or budget? Make delicious Instagram-worthy food with what you have, because simple can be incredibly delicious. Check these 3 ingredient recipes that will make your quarantine life easier. Want to up your game? Then try any of these 5 ingredient recipes that we bet you’ll keep in your post-quarantine life.
Is there anything you can do to make your customers' lives easier during this worrisome time? Brands that are helpful to their customers now will no doubt come out on top once this is over.
COOKING FOR MORE PEOPLE AND MORE OFTEN REQUIRES VARIETY.
Variety is another challenge many of us face. With our favorite eating out spots closed or out of reach, we are cooking more often, and perhaps cooking for more. Some of us are also making food for family members and friends who stay with us or we deliver food to. Regardless of the circumstances, variety is adding another challenge to our kitchen lives. No wonder people are coming up with creative ways to stretch meals for a family, like this mom who took on a challenge of feeding a family of 2 adults and “a very hungry 4 year old” with two small filet mignons. “I had half in a Caesar-ish salad and a glass of Chardonnay. My daughter had the other half with chicken nuggets, fries and edamame. My husband had the larger (still small) steak but also had a large lunch so it all seemed to work out and everyone is fed and full!”
You can find plenty of inspiration online, i.e. 28 Versatile Ways to Celebrate Chickpeas (Even if You Think You're Tired of Them) or How The World Does Beans and Rice… in 16 recipes. If you want something different, how about A Week Of Flexible Family Dinners? Many food blogs and publications like Epicurious or AllRecipes.com are dedicating entire sections to “Quarantine Cooking”, where you can pick up a plethora of tips from how manage your grocery list to storage, freezing, cooking tips and more!
Ask yourself: what can we do as a company/brand to help our customers making the ordinary extraordinary?
GROW YOUR OWN
(EASY TO GROW VEG)
“Grow your own” is an increasingly popular trend, and the quarantine lifestyle is impacting its rise further. In addition to reaping the benefits of your home-grown vegetables, it’s yet another example of a stress-relieving hobby. From herb gardens to easy to grow fruit and veg, picking up a new gardening hobby to enrich your mind and body is the perfect thing to do now!
Can you help your customers “DIY?” Perhaps there are some educational tips you could share with them? Anything that reveals your expertise will be highly appreciated.
OTHER INTERESTING FINDINGS:
According to the Grubhub report, these are the top foods nationwide.
Almost 60% of us are cooking more from scratch and after stay-at-home orders are lifted, 32% say they plan to make more home-cooked meals. Most are planning to eat more healthy and find more fresh food, as well.
Have you considered making carrots into “bacon”? Read how here.
If you bought any of these five items (and they’re not toilet paper or hand sanitizer), you’re doing what the majority of Americans do.
And finally…. food is art. Of course, showcasing food as a form of art isn’t new, but these gorgeous creations by blondieandrye on Instagram no doubt deserve a mention, because baker Hannah doesn’t allow any scraps go to waste, instead she makes them into beautiful edible creations:
Whether your business is food-related or not, you can learn from these trends and adapt to serve your customers better. That doesn’t mean you should be posting recipes when you sell clothes, but be attentive to how the coronavirus impacts your industry, what trends are emerging, and how you can make them work for your customers.