It’s halfway through the year and we’re already seeing trends adapt not only to consumer behaviors but also to the new normal brought by COVID-19. Trends are ever-changing but the pandemic has accelerated the food industry to rethink its game plan. Here’s a preview of how the future of food may look in the years to come.
Comforts of home
Dairy products and breakfast fare were big hits during quarantine, most likely because of the comfort and convenience they bring. Breakfast items are also reliable because of their nutritional value and purported health benefits; plus since they don’t require high levels of cooking expertise, anyone can practically whip out a meal for the entire household. This may give rise to more breakfast innovations and restaurants offering breakfast to cater to the public.
Dining at home has also taken away the pleasures of dining in restaurants, but establishments are trying their best to recreate the feeling and experience with do-it-yourself meal kits. These easy-to-assemble kits found a common, perhaps compromised, ground for that restaurant experience but the well-conceived kits (such as those by The Test Kitchen, Hapag and 12/10 are perfect for the pandemic climate as they come with pre-packaged and pre-proportioned ingredients that are as put-together as they are cost-effective. The diversity has also made it an intriguing investment, from ramen to burgers, that will likely draw a broader audience.
Back to basics
Homegrown products have been trumpeted literally now since people are investing in at-home projects. As people spend more time at home, urban farming methods such as vegetable gardening and home composting are becoming therapeutic weekend activities for those looking to expand their interests without leaving their homes. These activities don’t only serve as hobby starters but also as sustainable solutions, like the Department of Agriculture’s new aquaponics project that aims to secure ample food supply for urban communities.
Before the pandemic happened, there is already a shift in eating practices as more people made healthier choices to go vegan or vegetarian. This has resulted in more businesses tapping plant-based alternatives for the religious to preach and the curious to try. Some local vegan and vegetarian favorites include Cosmic, Greenery Kitchen, and even vegan desserts from Green Bar.
Filipinos are meat eaters. However, the ongoing health crisis has driven more people to eat healthier and even switch to plant-based diets since they are growing more conscious about their health.
But because people are forced to stay at home with limited supplies, eating habits have changed, though there are also contradictory trends emerging because of that.
The best example would be meat products versus plant-based alternatives. Filipinos are meat eaters. However, the ongoing health crisis has driven more people to eat healthier and even switch to plant-based diets since they are growing more conscious about their health. According to the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health report, a planetary health diet, which is mostly plant-based with minimal amounts of animal source foods, can improve health while also helping reduce food waste by up to 50 percent. In the US alone, sales of plant-based products surged 264 percent over the nine-week period of quarantine.
Now that the liquor ban has been lifted in some cities, people are more likely to line up in groceries to get their go-to alcoholic drink for at-home consumption, whether it be a bottle of beer or wine.
According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis research, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the liquor industry will take until 2024 to recover since supply chains and production facilities halted operations. Aside from the liquor ban, stocks are also piling up and sitting in warehouses unsold because bars and restaurants have been closed since the quarantine debuted.
IWSR also predicted the following trends in alcohol consumption:
- Brands will invest more in e-commerce platforms to sell
- People will prefer takeout and ready-to-drink liquors to be consumed at home
- The sober-curious movement will soar owing to closer attention on health
- Mainstream brands will thrive but craft breweries will struggle to compete
- Non-alcoholic drinks and beverages with low alcohol content will still be in demand, especially for younger millennials and Gen Z who drink moderately.
Trends may come and go and consumer behaviors will vary but the concept of eating healthy and drinking moderately will always be here to stay.
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