COVID-19 Food Trends
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, consumer food purchasing and consumption patterns have shifted, often in dramatic ways. We’ve seen consumers stocking up on nonperishables, grocery shopping less frequently and at fewer stores, and purchasing ingredients to support new food hobbies like baking and home bartending.
A rise in snacking has also been noted, with increased sales reported for snackable comfort foods like cookies and ice cream, as well as healthier choices like protein bars. Another key trend during COVID-19 has been an uptick in interest in the vegan diet. According to our COVID-19 survey, at the end of 2020, 19% of US consumers were interested in the vegan diet going into 2021.1
Here’s a look at some of the factors driving the trend in vegan eating:
Substitutions During Meat Shortages
Government-enforced shutdowns of some large meat processing facilities due to the spread of COVID-19 left many retailers across the country without their regular meat and poultry products. Faced with these shortages, some consumers opted to explore plant-based meat alternatives like ready-to-eat burgers and heat-and-eat grounds to continue making their family’s favorite meals.
Home Cooking and Experimenting
With home cooking as another one of the prominent COVID-19 food trends, it should be no surprise that more consumers have been getting creative in the kitchen—not simply cooking more but cooking new dishes. For those interested in trying out new healthy and trendy recipes, vegan and plant-forward food bloggers have been a great resource, with social media an important tool for sharing beautiful food shots.