COVID-19 has upended almost every aspect of our daily lives, not the least of which includes our eating and food-purchasing habits. Ordering take-out, having groceries delivered and cooking at home are some major lifestyle changes. Newly certified Kosher products are a direct correlation of what’s going on in the world of food. At OU Kosher, we get the chance to forecast a few of the trends we know you’ll be seeing in 2021.
Fast Food Restaurants
Though restaurants were hard hit during the pandemic, we are seeing many smaller fast–food spots opening and it is no surprise, since comfort food has remained a staple for many during these difficult times. Smaller OU Kosher certified fast-food restaurants often have long lines for pick-up. Uber Eats and other food delivery services have also seen a rise in Kosher food delivery. With social distancing and indoor dining prohibited, we expect to continue to see more Kosher fast-food restaurants opening.
According to the International Food Information Council, 28 percent of people have been eating more protein from plant sources during the pandemic. OU Kosher has seen a rise in certifications of plant-based foods such as, Impossible Burger, Dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger, 365 Everyday Value soy-based burgers, which is Whole Food’s house brand and Nestle’s Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger. Many people are buying plant-based foods for health and veganism, but others will be eating things that taste food and happen to be good for you. Be on the lookout for more innovative uses of plant-based foods.
Consumers have always turned to snack foods for comfort during challenging times. This behavior has increased during Covid-19, according to the NPD Group. According to NDP’s Snack Food Behaviors in Challenging Times study, indulgent snacking has increased by over 8% during the pandemic as consumers seek comfort through savory and sweet snacks. “Although we can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future, I think it’s safe to say snack food manufacturers and retailers can expect elevated snack food usage while COVID-19 restricts our restaurant usage and overall movement, in particular school closings and work from home orders.” Said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst for NPD. The increased demand for snacks is translating into more OU Kosher certification of major brands like Mondelez, Nestle, and Herr’s.
At Home Meal Kits
Being at home for so long has caused many to suffer from kitchen fatigue. Kosher at home meal kits is an easy way to give your family dinner a makeover. With people’s desire to stay inside and avoid crowds, they find themselves cooking more.