The Evolution of Eating Occasions

August 2021

Eating occasions have evolved significantly with changes in consumer habits, and home as a hub will be a core focus in the next few years. Meanwhile, experiential dining out and food discovery at specialist retailers have been under threat, leading to a surge in experimentation and self-creation at home. Value for money positioning is more important than ever as consumers seek novel experiences despite tightened budgets. This report delves into the drivers and innovation examples that businesses

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Key findings

Consumer desires for convenience and to self-create dovetail

Experimentation and cooking-at-home habits triggered by the pandemic quarantines merge with consumers’ rising desire for convenience, the latter an ongoing trend for years that will not abate. Companies are aggressively tapping on partially prepared food that suits a variety of dishes, cuisine and skill sets.

The digital ecosystem plays a key role in empowering both businesses and consumers

E-commerce, delivery and social media have been crucial in driving business in 2020 as mobility and foot traffic in brick and mortar outlets declined. In addition to point of sale, digital platforms have also been heavily utilised by companies to engage customers. Consumers make up for the loss of physical gatherings through social media.

Competition for share of stomach at home escalates

The fall in foodservice and the on-trade channel in 2020 has paved a way for restaurant operators to enter the retail market. The fight for share of stomach at home is expected to provide consumers with more choice and separate the weaker brands from the more resilient ones.

Need for indulgence to balance with health and value

Premiumisation trends may have taken a backseat in markets where economic conditions are not faring well. However, consumers remain discerning of premium trends and possibilities of indulgence. To justify spending more, consumers actively seek product attributes that balance out indulgence, such as healthfulness.

Creative collaborations are necessary to fully satisfy consumers

Consumer desire to seamlessly blend various aspects of their lives necessitates food firms to collaborate with players in the home and technology space as well. Cross-compatible, multi-functional and complementary products are all set to sit well with consumers provided they are easy to adopt and integrate with existing habits.

Key findings
Opportunities abound if innovation strategies evolve with eating occasions
Examining the Evolution of Eating Occasions
Exploring The Evolution of Eating Occasions
The Evolution of Eating Occasions in-depth
Convenient From-Scratch Cooking
New Home Lifestyles
Fluidity Anywhere
Recreating Experiences
Sensory Experience
Permissible Indulgence
The Evolution of Eating Occasions in focus
Companies are meeting the needs of consumers using various strategies
Simplifying preparation: Zanara makes hot cereals snackable
Simplifying preparation: Meyer Corp launches cookware suited for microwave cooking
Leveraging social media-centred food discovery and sharing : Kraft Heinz connects to FoodTok
Being compatible with home lifestyles: LG Corp uses artificial intelligence for a connected kitchen
Being compatible with home lifestyles: Cholimex adapts to dishes and consumers
Adapting to delivery and takeaway: Inno -Pak launches a simple tamper-proofing solution
Creating sensorial engagement through digital means: Unilever matches audio with taste
Justifying spend with novelty and quality: Checkers launches premium range
The Evolution of Eating Occasions
Key industry takeaways
Challenges to overcome
Become tomorrow’s next leader


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