Amid the pandemic, Americans’ way of life has changed and with that their food habits as well. As most people are stuck indoors, they have expanded their cooking tendencies and experimented with gourmet sauces and new recipes. Many believe the pandemic will permanently influence how people grocery shop, cook and overall eat.
“People are exploring,” said Krishnakumar Davey, president of strategic analytics at IRI. “There is palate exploration, recipe exploration going on. We have documented all kinds of spicy sauces that have grown substantially — we’re talking about hundreds of percent points in smaller growth categories. That is happening and a lot of Gen X and millennials have taken to cooking at home for the first time. So some of those habits will stick.”
Despite incoming Covid-19 vaccines, experts foresee cooking and eating practices to remain the same throughout the first half of 2021 within the U.S. However with hope of restrictions slowly lifting and the virus taking a back seat, predictions for the second half of the year are varied.
Food industry experts, grocers and consumer packaged goods companies expect Americans will cook more than they did prior to the pandemic as well as acquire an assortment of food preferences after establishing new patterns.
“We think there are going to be at least one or two more cooking occasions at home every week,” said Rene Lammers, chief science officer at PepsiCo. “We are not going to go back to work in the same way that we used to. It’s going to be a much more flexible environment, more remote working.”