Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has identified six emerging behavioral changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic that will power food and beverage innovation and growth in the months ahead. The company’s research will help manufacturers gain market share in an increasingly uncertain business environment.
Recent ADM OutsideVoice℠ research shows that 77% of consumers intend to make more attempts to stay healthy in the future. Food and beverage manufacturers who successfully balance consumer health concerns with affordability are most likely to win with consumers.
“Consumers’ attitudes, priorities, and behaviors are shifting significantly,” said Ana Ferrell, VP of Marketing, ADM. “This evolution is providing a unique opportunity for forward-looking food and beverage companies to bring a suite of trailblazing new products to market.”
- Increasing Focus on the Gut Health and Immune Function Connection
Globally, 57% of consumers report being more concerned about their immunity as a result of COVID-191. Products containing probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics can benefit the microbiome and are already gaining momentum in the marketplace.
- Plant-Based Becomes Mainstream
In the US, 18% of alternative protein buyers purchased their first plant-based protein during COVID-19, and 92% of those first-time buyers report they are likely to continue purchasing meat alternatives2. With health, safety, and convenience as top purchase motivators, products that deliver exceptional nutrition and a high-quality sensory experience will be poised for success.
- A New Perspective on Weight Management and Metabolic Health
The pandemic’s consequences for individuals with hypertension, diabetes and, cardiovascular disease have consumers viewing weight management and metabolic health in a new light, with 51% of consumers indicating they are concerned about being less active or gaining weight during the pandemic.
- Finding Balance: Self Care, Emotional Wellbeing and Nutrition
The difficult circumstances stemming from COVID-19 have increased feelings of anxiety and stress as 35% of consumers report being concerned about mental health2. People are looking for new ways to improve their mental wellness, including tempering the desire to consume comfort foods with weight management needs. Food and beverages designed to elevate mood, sustain energy, and reduce stress will grow in popularity in the months and years to come.
- Nutrition, It’s Personal
As COVID-19 increases consumer awareness of individual health risk factors, demand for products offering tailored, highly personalized health, and wellness solutions will take off. ADM research shows that 49% of consumers feel every individual is unique and requires a customized approach to diet and exercise, and 31% of consumers are already purchasing more items tailored for health and nutrition. Products that focus on improving nutrition, self-care, and general wellness will increasingly attract consumers’ attention2.
- A Shift in Shopping Values
Forty-eight percent of consumers plan to purchase more items related to health and wellness2. Concurrently, manifesting concerns around widespread economic decline has prompted a shift to value-based shopping, including growing demand for basic pantry staples, stimulating trade-downs to private labels, and increasing traffic to value retailers.
These shifts are likely to persist well after the pandemic crisis peaks. ADM has responded by developing tailored solutions aimed at giving brands an edge in an ever-changing marketplace.