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What Will the ‘New Normal’ of Living with COVID Look Like in the Food Industry?

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Industry News

The pandemic had a drastic and sudden change on how consumers shop and eat. As we move to a new normal where we are able to live with COVID, how will consumers’ attitudes towards food continue to evolve? 

Health and Mind

The importance of diet and health was at the front of mind as the pandemic created uncertainty for the country. Even as vaccines roll out, the link consumers are making between diet and health is here to stay. More specifically, consumers seek food options that promote gut health as it is associated with better sleep, mood, and increased immunity. Kerry’s Global Taste Charts research for 2022 suggests that this area of innovation will gain popularity in the years ahead. “Consumers are looking for better-for-you food and beverages that make them feel like they are taking an active role in their future health.”

Sustainable Consumption and Eco Labels

Consumers are shifting to plant-based options and seeking locally sourced produce to maintain sustainability in the food system. Consumers want to see food brands progress on carbon emissions, food waste, and plastic packaging. With 67% of consumers trying to have a positive impact through everyday activities, Euromonitor International believes that sustainable consumption will play a key role in 2022 going forward. Researchers also suggest that brands can capitalize by taking up carbon and eco labels that are transparent and build trust.

Meat-Free

There’s been a rise in meat-free options, and that’s expected to keep growing in 2022. Research suggests that over 8 million across the U.K. plan to become vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian over the next 12 months. However, there’s a gap between plan and action. In 2020, 6.5 million planned to cut meat out of their diet, but only 2% followed through. HelloFresh, a meal-kit delivery company, also noted a trend with protein. “One key trend to look out for is the addition of new protein sources. While there may still be a rise in veggie options, choices such as pork and beef could become more common in dishes.”

Consumers seek food options that benefit the mind and body as well as the environment and our infused dried fruit ingredients tick that box. At Graceland Fruit, sustainability and health are our top priorities. We are committed to using sustainable practices that protect the environment in the communities we operate in. Our areas of focus include organic agriculture and processing, water stewardship, and waste reduction. All of our growers are Michigan Agriculture Environment Assurance Program verified and follow good agricultural practices, including use of cover crops, bee pollination and protection, water management, energy reduction, and waste reduction. Our infused dried superfruits are nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants that offer numerous health benefits including reduced inflammation, promoting heart health, and aiding in post-workout recovery. 

Are you looking to add some color and nutrition to your applications? Contact our experts today!

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