The novel corona virus, aka COVID-19, pandemic has taken the food, beverage and hospitality industries by storm. The devastating impact from the stay at home orders and the take-out and delivery service is yet to be seen as many restaurants struggle to stay afloat.
At home food and beverage consumption has exploded during the last couple of months as we have been forced to shelter in place to combat the COVID-19. Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a travel, food and beverage and lifestyle PR agency, stays abreast of key trends to help our clients’ breakthrough the clutter in the food and beverage industry.
Here’s what’s trending in the food industry.
Plant Based Products
As more consumers adopt a healthier lifestyle, plant based food products will continue to grow in popularity in 2020. Flexitarians, a semi-vegetarian who adheres to a diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains and occasionally eats meat, have seen an explosion of plant based breakfast, lunch and dinner options on the menu at many fast food establishments across the country.
Many companies are developing innovative plant based flavors – avocado, pumpkin, watermelon seed, and mung bean to tantalize the taste buds of the discerning flexitarian.
And, in keeping with the plant based food trend, some butchers and meat brands are now offering blended burgers – “75 percent meat and 25 percent plant based products (wheat, mushroom, barley yeast and water)” according to Whole Foods.
Pea Milk, a Plant-Based Milk Alternative
Pea milk, is the latest plant based milk, to provide an alternative to traditional milk from a cow, almond, soy and oat milk. “Research from Nielsen has found that plant-based milk category is up 3.1 percent from last year, while cow’s milk sales are down five percent during the same period” according to Whole Foods.
Pea milk is an excellent source of protein, low in calories, available in unsweetened, sweetened, vanilla and chocolate flavors. It is a good alternative to consumers with dairy, soy and nut allergies.
Shared Commercial Kitchens
Ghost kitchens are simply share kitchens with multiple restaurants and caterers using a commercial space at different times to save money and run their food business at the fraction of the cost. The ghost kitchens are extremely relevant especially during this COVID-19 pandemic when many restaurants have been operating with take-out and delivery service.
Mocktails and Low Alcohol Beverages
Millennials and Gen Zers are drinking less because of health consciousness and social media culture,” according to Mintel. In fact, mocktails have been providing a non-alcoholic cocktail in a party setting to social butterflies since the 2000s.
Piquette, a low alcoholic bubbly, is gaining traction since it is made from “a second pressing and fermentation of grapes used in traditionally in wine-making and almost tastes like hard kombucha” according to the Food Network. Other popular low alcoholic beverages include botanical infused beverages, and alt gin, just to name a couple of options.
There Are New Flours on the Market
As many people have been sheltering in place, consumers around the world have had the time to explore and experiment to find fine tune their cooking and baking skills.
Flour traditionally has been made by “grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts and seeds,” according to Wikipedia. Many bakers are aware about the all-purpose, wheat, gluten-free flours on the market.
New flavors such as “teff flour (Ethiopian injera), cauliflower and fruit and vegetable flours such as banana and coconut” are exploding on the market as more people bake and experiment at home. (Whole Foods)
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By Joanna Allen, chief executive officer, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.