Consumer habits and behavior changed dramatically in 2020. Which trends are expected to continue post-COVID-19?

“2020 will have a lasting effect on our behaviors,” Joyce Neth, vice president, director of audience development and research, WATT Global Media, said.

“There were trends emerging pre-2020, like ecommerce for one. But in that year of change, trends accelerated five years. Things happened fast. Work at home made technology move faster and now everyone is doing more. This pace will continue. It will never be 2019 again.” 

Neth, alongside session co-presenter Chris DuBois, senior vice president, IRI, shared six post-COVID consumer trend predictions during The Poultry Federation’s Food Safety Conference, held virtually on March 29-31.

Lifestyle/consumption shifts

Shoppers spent more time at home than ever before, especially during the height of the pandemic. They went grocery shopping once a week, and in some cases, less than that, emptying shelves and filling pandemic pantries. Product shortages and supply chain challenges affected brand loyalty as customers were forced to buy what was available. 

These behavioral changes could become permanent as consumers adjust to new routines.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce accelerated in a major way throughout the pandemic. Previously, shelf-stable goods were the products most likely to be purchased online. That changed in 2020 as consumers sought to maintain social distancing and turned to online options as a solution for meat and other grocery needs. 

In many ways, ecommerce offers busy consumers a more convenient way to shop going forward.

Work from home

Working from home is a trend expected to continue post-pandemic, creating new markets for meal occasions. Breakfast and lunch are now big opportunities for meal retailers.

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New occasions and locations

Prior to COVID-19, where and how consumers shopped had already begun to change as retailers began to experiment with new store formats, such as full-service dining in a furniture store or “grocerants,” retail grocery stores featuring restaurant experiences. Retail stores will continue to evolve to meet changing consumer demand.

Sustainability

Consumers, led by Gen Z and millennials, are becoming increasingly thoughtful about what they consume. This means that values like sustainability now play a larger role in purchasing decisions and could continue to impact product sales going forward.

Premiumization

Bored by familiar recipes and looking to replace dining experiences, consumers treated themselves to new foods during COVID-19. Super premium and premium products, which includes sustainably marketed claims, saw large sales gains in 2020. Interest in this category is expected to grow.

Attend the 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit

Neth and DuBois will discuss the results of the 2021 Chicken Consumption Survey and explore consumer attitudes about chicken in the coming post-pandemic marketplace at the 2021 edition of Chicken Marketing Summit.

The 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit will be held at the Omni Amelia Island Resort in Fernandina Beach, Florida on July 18-20. This year, the conference will shine a light on what consumers will be looking for in the post-pandemic world and how poultry marketers can find success in the marketplace. Registration is now open with early savings available.

For more information and to attend, visit: www.wattglobalmedia.com/chickenmarketingsummit/

View our continuing coverage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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