Shifting Consumer Trends During COVID-19
The pandemic impacted consumer trends in food and beverage in unpredictable ways, with many manufacturers spending the early months struggling with day-to-day uncertainty. Now, as consumers have settled into the new normal, it's clear that some new trends are emerging.
For example, comfort foods became increasingly important to consumers during this stressful period. At the same time, consumers have become more concerned about staying healthy and more aware of ingredients and nutrients that can support their immunity and overall health. Snackable foods are also very important to consumers right now since they help lighten the meal prep load for themselves and their families while they work from home.
With these new consumer priorities in mind, let’s take a look at this season's ice cream trends.
With more consumers seeking comfort foods, ice cream is well-positioned as a favorite childhood treat. But within the ice cream category, nostalgic flavors, in particular, are resonating with consumers. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies and cream, chocolate chip, and cookie dough are all flavors that hit the mark. Manufacturers can also double down on decadence with richer versions of old standbys like chocolate fudge or dark chocolate.
Plant-Based Ice Creams
The health halo around plant-based products can make a real difference at times like these. Consumers who see plant-based ice creams as a better-for-you treat are often drawn to their healthy, plant-based ingredients. These include coconut, almonds, oats, and more recently, avocado and banana. The different flavors, colors, and textures these ingredients provide also add appeal.