Amid COVID-19, consumers are responding in a variety of ways and have differing attitudes, behaviors and purchasing habits.
COVID -19 has made consumers change their ‘preferences’ and these changes will remain for a longer period of time. Consumers are responding in a variety of ways and have differing attitudes, behaviors and purchasing habits. The food service industry will also see a huge change in consumer behaviour.
In conversation with Franchise India, Mohit Khattar, Director and CEO, Graviss Foods Pvt Ltd, the master license holder for Baskin Robbins in India and South Asia, highlighted how consumer behaviour will change in the food service industry post-COVID. Some of the factors include:
Consumers’ preference for healthy food will accelerate
Customers are going towards the direction of healthy eating or consuming the food that builds immunity. This pace will accelerate in the coming future. This is the most obvious change that we’ll foresee in consumer behaviour.
As per the survey, it has been revealed that more than 76% of adults are opting for restaurants that serve healthy food instead of going for a fast-food chain. According to studies, it is revealed that the health food segment is growing at 10-15% annually in India.
Consumers will prefer safety & hygiene without compromising taste
As per the current scenario, safety and hygiene are the utmost priority for any individual. They would prefer to eat at places which will maintain hygiene and do not compromise with the taste of the food.
Mohit Khattar said, “Post-COVID, customers are going to evaluate brands, restaurants for the safety and hygiene.”
Earlier, the main criterion for any consumer who is eating out was to get the best taste. But now, they would want a good taste with safety and hygiene. The restaurants and big brands that are into the food service industry will now have to keep this in mind.
Demand for canned food will increase
A major trend in developed economies is seeing the rising consumer demand for convenient canned food products that are healthy, ethical, and comforting, and fit for a fast-paced life. People are not willing to spend much time on food preparation; thus, they prefer convenience over price. The canned food is also perceived to be safer.
“Canned and frozen food will see more acceptance. Demand for factory packed products will increase,” he added.
Hyperlocal delivery model to emerge as the biggest trend
There is a section of consumers who are very convenience-oriented and they would rather order from the convenience and the safety of their house rather than going out, specifically in the large cities where traffic or parking can be a huge concern. This trend now with the context of COVID is going to intensify rather than coming down. Therefore, building greater avenues for sales where you can get your orders online and deliver can be a huge opportunity.
Khattar further stated, “The trend of ordering online is going to intensify.”
Direct-to-society can be a huge opportunity
Direct-to-society can be a huge opportunity. This is something that is best executed by the last-mile person. For eg: A franchisee is based out of a particular market like Gurugram, Bandra, etc. The ability to cater to that catchment area lies with the franchisee. What you need is a tie-up for a person to go into that catchment.
In the future, this is going to be a huge opportunity as for the customers there is nothing better than getting everything right in his society where he is located and not only for him, everyone in the society can get the same product.