This is the 15th time the International Food Information Council (IFIC) has surveyed American consumers to understand their perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors around food and food purchasing decisions. The 2020 survey took place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which has certainly impacted food and dietary habits. The online survey of 1,011 Americans ages 18 to 80 provided some thought-provoking results and implications for retail dietitians:
July 31 looms as a date that could have dramatic impact on the budgets of the millions of Americans currently unemployed. If Congress and the White House decide note to extend the $600 a week federal unemployment subsidy, consumers will have less money to spend, including on groceries. This could make owned brand products even more attractive than they have been during the pandemic thus far.
Whatever the reason for sugar reduction, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are typically the first place dietitians recommend shoppers start looking to reduce sugar intake, as it is the number one source of added sugars in the American diet.
Every major decision I have made in my life got hammered out around the family dinner table. The cast of characters evolved as I moved from my family of origin to a family of friends, then to my own family, and certainly the issues I was deliberating at these different stages changed, but the constant has been the family dinner table. It has provided me the safe context in which I could probe all the implications of my choices from every angle; emotional, financial, psychological and in some cases geographical. I am convinced that the family meal is the place where love and support find their most fertile ground to take root and grow.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly affected consumers’ mindset when it comes to foods and beverages and according to recent IRI research, some changes could have a long- lasting impact. Their survey, focused on fresh foods, reported that 59% of shoppers are now preparing 91-100% of all meals at home and 18% said they plan to buy more fresh foods. Also, 61% of shoppers believe the crisis will last 2-4 more months and many people plan on continuing home meal preparation after the crisis has ended.1 Here are some additional survey findings and the opportunities they represent for retail dietitians:
The coronavirus pandemic has put health and wellness top of mind for many consumers and this is playing out not only in what foods are being purchased but also with soaring supplement sales. In particular, the sales for ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and elderberry are skyrocketing.