Emerging from COVID-19: Food, Beverage, and Pet Innovation Opportunities

Innovating for Our New Normal

Amidst COVID-19, we have watched with amazement and gratitude at the food industry’s ability to quickly pivot and address changing consumer shopping behaviors and strategies.

As the industry ushers in our new normal—will grocery return to its lifeblood of innovation? If we turn to history as a source of inspiration, our bet is yes, as innovation has most prevailed in response to natural disasters, pandemics, etc. For example, out of the Great Depression, the concept of fortified foods spawned.

What new food products will emerge from covid-19?


In a recent survey conducted by Mattson, 58% of consumers will be hungry for new products immediately after our nation has fully re-opened. Generating new product ideas is easy, but consumer-insight driven innovation is not. With over 130+ years of fostering a culture of innovation, Sensient brings the expertise necessary to transform ideas into high-potential opportunities grounded in deep consumer research.

Developing Products for New Consumer Expectations In Our New Normal

Through our global research and partnership with third party syndicated research firms, Sensient has identified four key scenarios of COVID-19 that are shifting consumer behaviors and expectations of their grocery products.

New Consumer Behaviors Create Innovation Opportunities

1. Made local is better

To boost local economic growth, consumers will engage with product offerings made with local ingredients and feelings of heart-warming nostalgia in our new normal.


2. Inspired Eating at Home

Even after the pandemic, consumers will remain guarded about dining out and will seek out inspirational ideas and new taste experiences to implement in the comfort, familiarity, and safety of their homes.


3. Immunity Advantage

Consumers, fearful of exposure to the novel coronavirus, will look for creative food and beverage opportunities that deliver a promise of enhanced immunity.


4. Affordable Indulgence

Amidst COVID-19 financial recovery, today’s consumers will demonstrate monetary caution but will still seek out enjoyment beyond basic essentials.


Let’s explore new product opportunities that capitalize on the new expectations of the “Guarded Wayfarer” consumer…


Eating at home


“The Guarded

Pre-COVID-19, the “Guarded Wayfarer” consumers were the foodies on-the-go, dining out and using delivery services for a majority of their meals. Now, as our re-openings from lockdown occur across the nation, they yearn for new taste experiences beyond at-home meal preparation but venture out with newfound caution and less frequent than before COVID-19. In our new, next normal, Guarded Wayfarers will continue to lean on at-home food preparation for a portion of their meals, especially with changed restaurant protocols, diner capacity restrictions, and pinched supply chains of meal delivery services.

Invigorate “Guarded Wayfarer” consumers to be at home eaters through product offerings with restaurant-inspired flavor profiles that are easy and convenient to prepare!

Here’s some ideas across categories sparked by Sensient’s ideation team…



How to Get Prepared for Our New Normal

As a global health and economic crisis, COVID-19 will have permanent implications on consumer behavior, and grocery products that address new consumer expectations will likely see more engagement. Preparedness, responsiveness, and empathy will be the key to winning over consumers. Are you ready?

Discover opportunities for your category here

Sensient’s North American Grocery Ideation team is here to help you prepare for our new normal by identifying product opportunities not only exclusive to your brand and category but also aligned to the new needs of consumers.

The consumer is always at the heart of our ideation sessions, so we can bring you opportunities with the highest market potential.

Emerge from COVID-19 with a pipeline of innovation opportunities for today’s consumers!

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