The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives in so many ways, including the way industries across the globe operate. It has also changed the way people view and interact with food. Without a doubt, this has impacted the food industry, so businesses need to always be on the lookout for changes and developments.
A brand focused on future-oriented food flavors and fragrances shares their insights on what trends to expect in the coming months.
A rise in demand for comfort food
As there is no certainty about what the future holds, people are looking to food for solace. This has resulted in a rise in demand for foods that hold some form of nostalgia or make people feel good.
Given the situation, companies selling classic sweets, chocolates, ice cream, and similar foods that fall under this category will continue to see larger orders for these types of products for the long term.
Recreating restaurant dishes
It may take a while before people are allowed to congregate or dine out in a restaurant again. But staying at home does more than encourage people to learn a new skill or cook. Some are also attempting to recreate their dining experiences.
Restaurants are filling in the need by producing meal kits that allow patrons to recreate some of their favorite restaurant meals at home. However, the DIY route goes beyond meals and is infiltrating the industry of drinks, as well. Some companies are selling DIY kits that allow people to make their own beverages, from tea to alcoholic beverages like beer, cocktails, and even wine.
Instead of going out, people can now make the meals and drinks they love right at their own homes. It is convenient and allows patrons to enjoy their favorite dishes quickly and without the need to go out or drive.
For example, that tall glass of pina colada could remind you of your summer days at an exclusive resort or a favorite restaurant in Abu Dhabi that you miss. That steak you just prepared may be reminiscent of the food you enjoy in a famous steak haunt.
However, to replicate the desired restaurant taste, people need to make sure they get the instructions down pat.
Cooking from scratch
For people who have smaller disposable incomes, the only alternative is to make meals from scratch. With having to stay home, more people are taking an interest in preparing their own meals. This has also caused an increase in the demand for staple ingredients.
Searches for banana bread recipes, for instance, have soared during the last few months. At the same time, stores began running out of baking supplies such as flour and yeast as more people got into stress-baking.
The popularity of such activities may change over time, but they won’t disappear entirely. However, such trends may even continue to influence how people buy and what they buy for many months to come.
Staying at home is also encouraging other positive behaviors. For one, people are now looking beyond taste and how they feel about eating. They are now checking the nutritional content of the foods they buy, comparing, and making healthier choices.
In terms of pre-made foods and snacks, people are looking for more nutrient-rich selections, products made from organic ingredients, or snacks containing herbs.
When it comes to cooking and preparing meals at home, more people are looking for recipes that call for readily available but healthy ingredients. There is still a considerable demand for ready-made foods, but these may be replaced by more functional foods in the long run.
The switch may not just be because of the situation. Data indicates that people are seeing the benefits of eating a more balanced diet. In the same study, some respondents have expressed their interest in continuing their healthy lifestyle in the future.
Spicing things up
People don’t want to eat the same thing every day or even every week. With cooking and dining at home, there is a greater need for variety, as well. Consumers want options while keeping things easy.
One potential cause for this trend is contact with other cultures. International travel was pretty common before the borders closed down. The exposure to exotic flavors and aromas from other countries has encouraged some to bring those experiences home.
It could be as simple as trying a new way of cooking pasta or adding more spices to the usual BBQ rub. Time will tell when people can travel again, but that doesn’t mean they can’t experiment at home while waiting. This is why herbs, spices and other flavouring ingredients are now a great source of interest and inspiration, especially for those who have just begun cooking in earnest at home.
The pandemic may have changed how people view and experience food, but there are plenty of opportunities for brands and companies to make their mark. By taking note of these current flavor and taste trends, you can create foods or food products that people will respond to.
Lamia Rochdi is the Marketing Manager at Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA. A successful family-owned business, Bell’s core competencies include customized solutions for the food and beverages industry, the household and personal care sector, and the perfume industry.