New Modern Convenience: Pandemic-Weary Consumers Turn to Instant Foods and Beverages
The pandemic has accelerated a wide series of trends already in place in food culture, one being pursuit of convenience, but as we noted not long ago, convenience with a modern twist.
A recent Bloomberg article supports our observations and describes how while time- and labor-intensive foods like sourdough bread gained attention as perfect projects for the pandemic on social media, consumers overwhelmed by the stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 have also gained an intensified appreciation for quick and easy foods and beverages — but are less likely than ever to be willing to sacrifice quality.
As described by Bloomberg, entrepreneurs and food and beverages companies are responding in kind, releasing products that up the ante on quality while offering near-instant gratification with new formats for instant coffee, tea, cocktail mixers, heat-and-eat meals, and small, specialized appliances that blend technology, culinary technique, and speed.
Hartman Group research finds that despite many reporting more time spent at home since the pandemic began, consumers continue to be stretched thin in terms of their time and responsibilities. However, in line with what we’ve called the “new modern convenience,” they remain committed to values of empowerment, engagement, and flexibility.
These values manifest in a desire for unique, high-quality products and experiences that provide reliable access to enable exploration of new flavors and the ability to gain new knowledge and skills, all while fitting into restraints on time and movement caused by the pandemic and ongoing obligations.
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Infographic: The Meaning of Convenience: Then & Now