Two-thirds of Americans are re-evaluating their life priorities because of the Pandemic and that spells a change in American eating habits ahead, according to research from British market research firm Mintel.
“In food and drink, US adults say the pandemic caused the most change in where they eat, how they grocery shop and how they approach their diets. Many of these new habits and attitudes will be routine when “the next normal” arrives in the US. Consumers will have more flexible meal needs, a reliance on ecommerce and a proactive approach to health,” writes Jenny Zegler, associate director of food and drink at Mintel.
(A brief disclosure here. I worked at Mintel from 2012 through the end of 2013, heading it’s food and beverage research group. Jenny worked briefly for me before moving on to bigger and better things at Mintel.)
“US adults predict that hybrid work schedules will be the norm, challenging retailers and foodservice operators to offer time-saving food and drink near and far from home. After more than a year of eating primarily at home, consumers will be looking for food and drink solutions that align with their more casual and flexible schedules,” she writes.
Consumers also talk about healthy eating, but it will be interesting to see if they can truly combine healthy eating and convenient eating.
Today, almost anything which is convenient to buy and/or cook at home is not healthy but rather high in salt, fat and sugar. Much as we love pizza, it’s not healthy, for example. And supermarkets ahve been removing healthier items from their shelves in the pandemic, not adding them. Will that change?
Healthy food requires long preparation times. Will Americans be up for that post-pandemic?