The events of 2020 and the impact of Covid-19 have transformed the food industry, from how food is processed to how it is accessed, consumed and shared. Selfridges Food Product Developer Jessica Abela looks at how the pandemic has and will continue to influence the way we eat and how this will impact food trends for the coming year.
1. Provenance & hyperlocal
“Sustainability, biodiversity and community-driven considerations were driving many consumers’ food and drink choices before the pandemic. This has accelerated and customers are increasingly searching for ways to re-connect with the food system.
“Hydroponic growth systems such as Infarm allow us select herbs and salads to grow within our Foodhall, offering customers hyperlocal, super fresh and naturally flavourful produce. It ticks lots of sustainability boxes, reducing our carbon footprint and using 95% less water.”
2. Imperfect Eating
“Whilst consumers are becoming more savvy about nutrition, the terms ‘guilty pleasures’ and ‘junk food’ are taking on a new form. Consumers are seeking ways to bring back the feel-good factor and shake off the taboo, re-affirming food’s role in routine acts of self-care. New brands are taking the language, flavours and visual cues of “junk foods” and refining them for an adult audience.”
3. Beauty Foods
“Bridging the gap between nutrition and skincare, holistic food and drink brands are now launching science backed beauty foods, drinks and skincare made using their hero ingredients. Some brands are expanding their beauty supplements to include foods and on the flip-side, food brands are foraying into the beauty market through olive oil.”
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“Half of UK consumers believe plants and botanicals have medicinal benefits1. The food-as-medicine movement is being rebranded to fit modern lifestyles, balancing flavour and function to shape our physical and psychological states. The desire for health and wellbeing post-pandemic is a consistent trend across all markets. Nostalgic narratives overlaid with science are giving way to a new category.”
“14% of Brits now identify as flexitarians2– twice as many as pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans combined. And three quarters of people globally plan to eat and drink more healthy as a result of the pandemic3. Following a largely plant-based diet and choosing alternative protein sources to meat can not only improve health but reduce your carbon footprint.”
6. Mood Foods
“As we better understand the synergy between food and mental health, our diets are changing to reflect both how we feel and how we want to feel. People are looking to foods to address wellness issues such as sleep, anxiety and concentration. Consumers are increasingly linking what they eat and drink to their emotional states.”