Food & lifestyle genre channels saw impressions surge during the lockdown: Report

TAM Food and Beverage trends report 2021

The Food and Beverage Trends Report by Zirca Digital Solutions as a part of the ‘Ungeek’ series explains how the pandemic brought significant behavioral changes in home-cooking and consumption patterns of cooking-related content.

Zirca Digital Solutions for brands has launched a white paper on the ‘Food and Beverage trends’ report as part of their ‘Ungeek’ series. Ungeek is a series of colorful, simplified, easy-to-absorb, insight-driven research reports and thought pieces for the modern marketer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about profound changes to consumer behaviour which are here to stay. It has impacted the way consumers think. Audiences are now defining their likes, thoughts and preferences and seeking newer avenues to meet their needs. During the onset of the pandemic, consumers had to adapt quickly to find new ways to fend for themselves and discover alternative options to perform even mundane tasks. These changes affected not just individuals and homes, but large corporations and industries. Like most sectors, the food & beverages sector has also been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

Also read: 62% of news consumers see Print as the most credible medium: Ormax Media Report

Zirca Digital Solutions’ whitepaper, ‘Food and Beverage Trends in the New Normal’ examines behavioral changes that have been prevalent during the lockdown. The white paper focuses on key changes such as New Kitchen Development, Health is Wealth, Safety and Convenience, and lastly the new age influencers.

Some of highlights from the Food and Beverage trends’ report include:

  • New kitchen trends – From restaurants shutting down to the rise of home-cooking, the pandemic has altered the way people consume food within their homes.
  • Culinary skills were seen as a hobby, compulsion, way to ensure safety, and method to de-stress – this behavioral change has led to more audiences turning into cooking-based portals. The traffic noticed on these portals increased from 25 to 27 Mn during the lockdown as compared to 14 to 17 Mn pre-COVID-19.
  • Food and Lifestyle genre channels on television saw an impressions surge to 245.5 Mn during the lockdown as compared to 160 Mn pre-COVID-19. The average time spent on these channels increased to 15.08 mins in Q1-2021 from 10.03 mins in Q1-2019.
  • A new trend ‘Do it Yourself’ emerged during the lockdown. This included ‘baking bread’ as one of the most engaging trends under the DIY category. According to SEMRUSH, there was an increase of 515% in search volumes of how to bake bread and a 616% increase of how to bake bread at home.
  • Pandemic acted as a catalyst in shaping new personas which included – people who cook food to monetize, cook food to unwind, cook for better nutrition, and cook passively, by default.
  • Safety and Convenience- Digital paved a new path into the new normal as consumers flocked online to shop for daily groceries.
  • According to BCG report, e-commerce saw a rise of 1.3 – 1.5x no. of buyers for essential food (fresh food, staples, packaged food, and beverages), 1.4x increase in the no of categories shopped online, and a 45% increase in online spends
  • Traffic on e-grocery platforms increased to 15 Mn post-COVID-19 as compared to 10 Mn pre-COVID-19
  • Unexpected alliances and new business models were formed as companies adapted to help deliver essentials to the consumers – Zomato and Swiggy delivered essential goods, Flipkart tied up with cab services like Uber and Meru to deliver essentials, and Dominos and ITC joined hands to deliver essential goods
  • As audiences experienced better services from various e-comm portals, they soon realized the resultant benefits of ordering groceries online
  • Health is Wealth- The fear of contracting COVID-19 led people to adopt healthy food diets, and fitness regimes to improve their immunity. Post Q2 in 2020, the category has been in a constant upswing.
  • Daily visitors on the diet, exercise, and fitness portals increased from 37 Mn in Jan 2020 to 41 Mn in Feb 2021. Total time spent on these portals also increased from 3393 Mn Mins in Jan 2020 to 4064 Mn Mins in Jan 2021
  • New Age Influencers- The rise of influencers and cloud kitchens is shaping the way commoners consume content. The need for guidance was picked up by influencers (Bloggers, YouTubers, Podcasters, Instagramers, etc.) and cloud kitchens, each trying to get the attention of the masses.

Neena Dasgupta, CEO, and Director, Zirca Digital Solutions, said, “Our Ungeek initiative has seen massive traction within the trade and marketing fraternity. Everybody just loved the way complicated statistics were explained and presented. During the pandemic, food and its ancillary activities got a whole new meaning. It became passion, profession hobby, past time, and even problem for some and which is why our second white paper is focused on food and beverage trends.

At Zirca, we have always believed in a knowledge-based approach with consumers at the epicenter of all that we do. We feel it is our duty to share knowledge with all brands and partners and help them make smart and informed decisions for their businesses. With Ungeek, we hope to being a part of our partner’s journey by facilitating meaningful conversations.”



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