The packaged food industry has seen fundamental shifts on the back of the Coronavirus pandemic with increased demand for staple foods, cooking ingredients and meals. This report gives an overview of the dynamics seen across the world and analyses the key trends that are driving growth in the industry, including the continued demand for plant-based food and functional offerings and the unprecedented uptick of the online channel.
The economic fallout on the back of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to be felt long into the future. With spending power reduced, demand for value for money offerings and private label is gaining ground. Manufacturers need to pay attention to delivering affordable solutions for consumers.
Health and sustainability continue to be the two key pillars driving demand for plant-based food. The trend will continue to be led by Western markets and developments continue to expand beyond plant-based milk and meat substitutes, including cheese, fish and seafood alternatives.
Targeted functionality as a key component of wellbeing has become crucial for consumers, which is benefiting functional foods. Probiotic-rich foods to boost immunity have been important winners and further opportunities are set for mood-enhancing and stress-relief ingredients.
Although single-use plastic, recyclability and food waste remain important topics in the food industry, the pandemic has shifted the attention to corporate responses focused on social action, including support to the vulnerable and local farmers and communities.
Given stay-at-home rules, online grocery is one of the most significant trends in the packaged food industry. Food players are prioritising this channel at the top of their corporate strategies as it is set to continue to be the fastest growing channel moving forward.
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