The Aurora Ceres Partnership Ltd invites you to join the conversation about what society will need from the food industry in the post-COVID world. This series of blogs will explore the consumer anxiety it brings, and how the industry needs to react.
Our new-normal period looks bleak. Potential record levels of unemployment, disrupted supply chains, fears over physical and mental health, and a continuation of the back-to-basics mentality that strengthened out of necessity during lockdown.
Such a reality will feed the collective Consumer Anxiety, and because of this that many of the previous trends will no longer be valid.
Instead, consumers will want to focus on health and well-being. They will be looking for foods that nourish, comfort and calm. These products will be focusing on the inside over the cosmetic. Fundamentals replacing desirables. A wish to return to old favourite ingredients and brands, and traditional methods (think sourdough and fermentation), rather than looking for the next new thing.
Consumer focus on price sensitivity will be a mainstay for some time. Consumers, disadvantaged by the pandemic, will look to maintain their health and well-being on lower budgets.
Within a increase in concerns over food safety relating to fears over COVID outbreaks at farms and in factories, will mean that transparency over provenance of ingredients, and manufacturing methods, will be of increased importance.
Supply chain security
The uncertainties and disruptions will continue to prevail with the potential of continuing and sporadic local and national lockdowns.
Environment and sustainability
However, concerns over the environment and sustainability have not and will not go away. The COVID-prism may alter the importance that consumers and manufacturers give to certain environmental decisions. Packaging decisions, for example, may not be frowned upon if the result is longer shelf-life and less food waste.
So, what does this all mean for NPD? These challenges are not new, but there is a renewed focus on them, and a renewed sense of urgency. In many ways there is a clarity over top-level priorities that we have not seen for some time.
Join our series of discussions as we explore how NPD in the food industry can realign and respond to the needs of society as we traverse the new-normal landscape.