The FoodNavigator Podcast: What does Coronavirus mean for the future of food? –

Restaurant News

The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people eat, shop and think about food.

Changing consumer priorities

According to Alon Chen, founder and CEO of AI-powered consumer insight provider Tastewise, people under lockdown – with time on their hands – are spending more time scratch cooking. But beyond the boom in bread making, some other clear trends can be seen.

Perhaps unsurprising at a time when disease is front-of-mind, shoppers are looking for foods that boost their immune systems. However, Chen told The FoodNavigator Podcast, they aren’t seeking out new solutions. Rather, they are looking for familiar ingredients.

“We do see a huge increase in decisions around immunity…. We have seen a 360% growth in the number of people that care about their immune system. We are not seeing any new ingredients: We are seeing camomile, we are seeing kombucha, we are seeing melon, we are seeing a lot of fermentation,”​ he explained.  

On the other hand, Chen said, weight loss has fallen off the agenda. This could be because it is a longer-term ambition while ‘coronavirus is now’, he speculated.

Speeding uptake of tech

Rapidly changing consumer trends that have been shaken up by the seismic impact of coronavirus mean that companies are increasingly looking for real time solutions, the food tech innovator claimed.

Food businesses have accelerated their uptake of technological solutions as a consequence. This stretches beyond real-time consumer insights to encompass aspects of supply chain planning, Victoria Ross, a UK sales executive at supply chain software vendor, FuturMaster, suggested.

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