Future Food Update - May 2021

Since January 2020 we have been tracking consumer behaviour through our Future Food Trend Tracker on a monthly basis so we can share actionable trends and insights with you. The month of May saw further bumps in the road as we progress through certain milestones of the COVID exit roadmap while consumer trends continued to change in respect to this.

Detailed below are 7 key insights from the May 2021 report:

  1. Consumer attention appears to be returning to packaging as their excitement around the COVID relaxation steps stabilises, with a month on month increase recorded for all types of packaging being tracked.
  2. Sustainability related topics may have recorded a month on month dip, which may be due to the COVID relaxation steps diminishing COVID anxieties and also the excitement around dining out, but a year-on-year increase has been recorded, with locally sourced produce recording a 19% increase.
  3. Even though indoor dining has now opened, almost 2 in 3 consumers continue to find meal kits from a local restaurant appealing, which positively looks like it may be a trend that continues beyond the pandemic.
  4. Modernity appears to be taking over from comfort cuisines, with an increase recorded among those trying Modern British, Mexican and Modern Indian.
  5. In April consumers retracted on their intentions to visit hospitality venues more frequently than before the pandemic, but now that being able to go out has become normalised, increases in those intending to visit more frequently than before the pandemic have been cited, specifically for pubs.
  6. Consumers are keen to socialise and support local businesses, but they are eager for good booking systems and availability. They are also keen for restaurants to not over price as this may put some consumers off from visiting.
  7. In May we recorded a dip in those ordering half plant/half meat based meals, highlighting that for flexitarian diets meat is perceived as a treat. However, for Vegans, those ordering a pure plant based meal has remained stable year-on-year.

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