The coronavirus pandemic has put the food and drink industry to the test as it has risen to the challenge of feeding the nation. When the storm has passed, it is possible that new trends will become the norm. We take a look at the future of the food industry, including what post-crisis consumers might look like and other considerations for UK food manufacturers.
The impending recession will mean that people are more careful how they spend their money and most will prioritise basic food and drink in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19. As a result, the tendency will be to shop around to get the best price, meaning that brand loyalty will decline.
The Older Demographic
With higher levels of disposable income than other demographic sectors, the over-60s contribute a significant amount to the UK economy. It is predicted, however, that they will rein in their spending habits in the wake of the pandemic. Luxury or indulgent foods will be replaced with more basic and functional foods.
People in the Generation X sector (born early 1960s to late 1970s) will be more concerned about their long-term health. Health-boosting foods and supplements will become more important for this age-range, seeking to find illness and disease-prevention solutions.
Eating healthily has become increasingly important to consumers in the last few years. This trend is set to become even more significant, due to people cooking all their meals at home during lockdown. Foods containing vitamins and minerals to boost the immune systems will become even more popular and play their part in shaping the future of the food industry.
Similarly, the use of food delivery apps and food delivery services during lockdown will remain high once the pandemic is over. Businesses who have honed their apps and restructured their websites to put delivery options first will benefit. MD of KAM Media, Katy Moses, notes that “consumers aren’t going to suddenly delete apps and forget about delivery options when the lockdowns end”. (Read more here.)
According to Will Cowling, marketing manager for FMCG Gurus, “Consumers were already concerned about levels of damage done to the environment before this pandemic, but this crisis is going to make those concerns all the more relevant”. (Read more here.) Having realised during lockdown that some environmental damage is indeed reversible and that air quality is an important consideration for us all, consumers will be looking more closely at sustainability and good environmental practices. As Unilever‘s Chief Executive, Alan Jope, predicts, the COVID-19 pandemic will “herald a new era of responsible consumption”.
There has been an increased focus on food safety throughout the coronavirus crisis and this will continue to be relevant for both consumers and the industry in general. The future of the food industry for food manufacturers could see more stringent guidelines put in place by audit bodies like the BRCGS. Indoor air quality will be more under scrutiny than ever before and guidelines will look to prevent the spread of infection and stop bacteria, dust and other airborne debris compromising food safety in production areas. There are specific measures food manufacturers can take now to increase the efficiency of their particle filtration. These are:
- Using a finer grade of filtration (if possible, HEPA filter grade)
- Increasing your frequency of air filter change
- Cleaning and checking your HVAC system regularly
If you have any questions about how to increase the Indoor Air Quality in your food production facility, give us a call on 01785 256976 or get in touch here. Happy to help.