COVID-19 crisis: less convenience means back to basics

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fruit and vegetable sector showed a preference for superfast and simple meals. Consumers chose convenience products like pre-cut fruit and vegetables and fresh ready meals. These were often purchased on their commute from work. Weekends were celebrated with social drinks and dinner parties together with family and friends. But how is it now, considering the current COVID-19 safety measures?

COVID-19 safety measures lead to new consumer behaviour

The global (COVID-19) pandemic lead to a sudden change. Nowadays, consumers mostly work from home, so quickly grabbing something on-the-go no longer happens. And with the temporary closure of cafes and restaurants, going out for a meal was not an option either. Even with the recent reopening of these establishments, consumers remain hesitant. And because of COVID-19 safety measures, social drinks and dinner parties at home are simplified or postponed.

Less impulse purchases due to shopping lists and online orders

According to research institute GFK, supermarkets and local retailers, the fear of contamination is also reflected in an increase of bulk purchasing. Instead of a daily shopping trip including impulse purchases, consumers now buy all their groceries once a week using a shopping list. To avoid the masses, they plan their weekly visit not just on weekends but also during the week. Online orders and home delivery have also become increasingly popular.

Focus on fresh produce: great for bank balance and health

Because of the financial consequences of COVID-19, many consumers have less to spend on groceries. This is also visible in their buying behaviour. Convenience and luxury products are less likely to end up in their shopping cart, says big data supplier IRI, as consumers choose basic products. Instead of pre-cut vegetables or ready meals, they purchase unprocessed, fresh produce to be prepared at home.

Consumers are becoming more aware of their (healthy) eating habits. We are going back to basics. More often, meals are prepared at home, where we prefer to use unprocessed, healthy produce. Not only does this positively influence our bank balance, but our health too!

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