More Views of the Future | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

More Views of the Future

Posted by: on Wednesday May 12, 2021

Additional perspectives on 2021 trends, pandemic changes and online grocery shopping and older adults. At the close of 2020 I provided a roundup of 2021 nutrition/physical activity/food trends. Four months into 2021, here are more perspectives on trends:

  • The 9th annual survey of RDNs (1165 surveyed this year) includes some recognizable trends from other lists (interest in health and well-being, more snacking than meals) and intermittent fasting as #1 in the public’s interest as well as social media as a source of information;
  • 2021 spring trends from the Dairy Council of California is a deep dive into dietary quality, the gut microbiome’s role in health, health equity/social determinants of health and sustainable nutrition as part of climate change;
  • McCormick’s 2021 Flavor Forecast includes previously identified trends such as plant-based foods and global flavors and identifies unique produce and seafood consumers may embrace in the coming year. Their take on flavors includes ones that provide comfort and flavor and they cite botanical flavors because consumers may view these as ‘clean’;
  • 5 trends fueling food and beverage innovation in 2021 also echoes other trend lists (immunity-promoting foods, plant-based and global flavors) and adds gene-editing that turns its attention from soybeans and corn to crops that many of us eat often – lettuce, apples, potatoes and mushrooms.

Pandemic changes include produce opportunities in the 2021 FMI report – increased f/v buying and convenience. Snacking changes as a result of the pandemic saw the number of daily snacking times unchanged but increased volume and distraction driving snacking; generations differ as to snacking habits and some may seek better sources of nutrients when reaching for a snack.

Why some companies lost sales during the pandemic includes Coca-Cola seeing declining sales that began before the pandemic and continuing in late spring and early summer; there was a decline in meat/poultry/pork sales but increased plant-based sales especially in younger age groups.

During the pandemic more older adults went grocery shopping online (Instacart saw a 9% increase between the 1st and 4th quarters of 2020) but now older adults are heading back to the store: how can retailers retain older adults when online grocery shopping? Larger font sizes as well as screen readers that translate text or images into speech would benefit older adults. Sample online screens are shared as well as other solutions such as senior support services.

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