Align New Products to Changing Consumer Mindsets Amid COVID-19

Amid COVID-19, we have observed and been part of the food industry’s journey to quickly pivot to changing consumer shopping behaviors and strategies. The recent happenings impacted most people’s lives in many ways and required consumers and manufacturers globally to adapt to the circumstances quickly. Some of these effects were temporary, yet others likely have a longer-term impact.

As the industry ushers in a new normal – will grocery return to its ‘normal routine’ in which innovation plays a crucial role? If we turn to historic recessions as a source of inspiration, our bet is yes, as new food and drink products have an important place with consumers who have an appetite for affordable indulgence and new food experiences.

What new products will arise out of COVID-19?


As Harvard Business Review comments on recessions and consequent economic upturns, “marketers have to stay flexible… having a pipeline of innovations ready to roll out on short notice” as consumers will be willing to try new products before the economy is in full recovery, and the first ones that are prepared would win. Generating new product ideas is often the simplest part of product development. However, innovation based on true consumer understanding can be complex. With 130+ years of fostering a culture of innovation, Sensient brings the expertise necessary to transform ideas, bringing them to life in customers’ food and beverage product launches.

Through our global research and partnership with noted research firms, Sensient has identified 10 key post-COVID-19 scenarios that will affect the consumer packaged goods landscape, and more specifically, 3 scenarios that will directly influence new product innovation in the food and beverage industry.

10 Key Post-Covid-19 Scenarios


1. Made local is better

Ethical consumerism can manifest in many different ways. Yet there is clearly growing consumer interest in locally produced foods and beverages. The motivation may differ, yet through choice consumers often aim at supporting local economies, helping their surrounding by their choices, complying with the local culture or feeling good about the origin of their food and beverage purchase.


2. Retailer Brands Surge Ahead

As Mintel reports, “In all recessions, brand loyalty becomes less important than price sensitivity” and value-seeking consumers gravitate to private label brands. With global lockdowns occurring, the impact on grocery retail brands is projected to be even more pronounced than in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.


3. Immunity Advantage

Consumers around the world are trying to minimize their susceptibility to the novel coronavirus and have consequently shown growing interest in food and personal care products that promise enhanced immunity. Beverages, supplements, skincare and food brands can all leverage ingredients known for aiding the immune system, with benefits from botanicals being particularly appealing.


Sensient’s team of experts can assist in generating product opportunities that are aligned to the new mindsets and needs of consumers in a post-COVID-19 world in any food and beverage category. Regardless of whether you are looking for just the right natural coloring or unique flavor that sets you apart, emerge with product launches from post-COVID-19 insight-driven knowledge. We look forward to providing you a personal consultation.