COVID-19 is impacting all areas of the food and drink market, and the confectionery market is no exception to this. Currently, sales of items such as chocolate and sugar confectionery are on the rise across the globe, as consumers seek out moments of comfort. However, as these snacking occasions increasingly conflict with health goals, consumers will put an increased focus on sugar reduction, stresses the market research company.
Stressed consumers turning to snacks for moments of escapism
The implications of COVID-19 are wide ranging and are forecast to impact day-to-day lives for at least twelve months, a monthly survey series conducted by FMCG Gurus shows. Over the period of April to May, 43% of consumers say that they have become more conscious about their mental wellbeing in the last month – compared to 35% in April. This is because consumers are worried about a variety of aspects relating to how COVID-19 may impact them. For instance, whilst there are the obvious health issues associated with the virus, a total of 72% say that their country is heading towards a recession. This will result in worries about additional issues such as the ability to handle daily living costs and job security, as well as the ongoing threat of the pandemic.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the emotional impact of COVID-19 on day-to-day lives is influencing food and drink choice. In May 2020, a total of 60% of consumers said that they had bought more comfort foods such as confectionery and ice cream in the last month (compared to 56% last month). In addition, a total of 49% of consumers say that they have snacked more (compared to 38% in April). The reality is that consumers are spending more time at home due to restrictions on movement. This means that they are more prone to grazing on indulgent treats simply because they can, with consumers making more daily trips on average to the pantry. In addition to this, consumers are looking for moments of comfort and escapism to deal with the pressures of everyday life. This is not a new trend but one that is intensifying in a period of uncertainty. It is also worth noting that a total of 71% of consumers say that they have cut down on spend in the foodservice sector (compared to 69% in April). Irrespective of any concerns that they have relating to finance and health, consumers have high levels of self-entitlement. As such they will look to compensate for reduced out-of-home consumption occasions with small treats at-home.
…Read the full article from FMCG Gurus in the latest May/June issue of International Confectionery
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