The food and drink industry is changing. Are you ready for the change?
Over the last few months the world changed around us very quickly, with very little warning. Life as we knew it changed over a matter of weeks as the biggest public health crisis of a generation swept across the world. Our busy and fast paced lives ground to a halt as millions of people switched to staying indoors to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Suddenly everyone’s daily routines and habits had to change. In the food and drink industry it is essential that new product releases follow consumer trends and fit in with people’s daily lives. The recent pandemic has hit the food and drink industry hard, especially those in the hospitality sector. Retail sectors have had to be fast to adapt by limiting SKUs and focusing on larger multipacks as the stockpilers filled up their baskets in supermarkets.
Our team have put together the list of key developments we think you’ll see in the food and drink industry going forward. We have also given some helpful tips of how to best position yourself to come out of this crisis.
1) Prepare at home
With more people working at home and staying indoors, preparing your own food at home is on the rise. Cake baking mixes, or baking bread are the new on trend activities to share on Instagram. People are also on the search for new food to eat for lunch whilst working from home to fill the void of grabbing a Pret on-the-go.
2) Core flavours
Now is certainly the time to revisit your core flavour range and ensure they are up to scratch. Many retailers and manufacturers will be focusing on their main ranges and battling out for shelf space with their core products.
Consumers will be looking for health boosting foods to best protect themselves. Searches for “immunity” have sky rocketed on Google as consumers are looking for health options. Revisit your formulations for ways to feature key health ingredients.
4) Mood food (and drink)
It’s not just physical health that is a danger during the recent pandemic. People’s mental health is also taking a huge hit. People are isolated and stuck indoors, which has seen a rise in mental health issues. Food and drink that can help people relax will be a big market. Look for buzz words such as “calm”, “relax” and “soothe” to be highlighted on pack. Could this also be the moment CBD needed to finally make its break into the mainstream?
At times of hardship, escapism and innovation have always flourished. People look for ways to escape the daily issues and loose themselves in something. Food and drink can play a huge part with new and exciting flavours. Try looking for a refreshing flavour that takes consumers on a holiday in their mind – sat on a beach sipping a cocktail. Or how about a crazy fantasy flavour that they simply haven’t heard of before?
6) Digital world
Without a doubt technology is one of the biggest advances in recent months. People are now more digitally connected than ever thanks to the help of services like Zoom, Tik Tok and House Party. With retail on the high street closed, consumers logged-on in their millions and ordered their weekly shop online with Ocado, or their new fitness equipment from Amazon.
It isn’t just the big players or retail that has benefited from technology. Many small and independent hospitality outlets have adapted by focusing their business on takeaway or delivery services by ordering online. It’s key to see how your offering can be adapted for an online world.
7) Buying local
With most people calling the end of the high street, could this actually offer the high street a life line? As people avoid the larger retail spaces, they are looking to their local shops and rediscovering the benefits of small retailers. Bakeries and butchers are seeing new customers, or old customers flood back in a bid to avoid the crowds.
Whatever happens, change is certain. It is important to not stand still and to make sure you are prepared for what the future brings.
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss these concepts in further detail and how we can help improve your range, or maybe develop something new and exciting?