Convenience eating redefined by COVID-19 lockdown

The notion of convenience will take on new meaning at mealtimes as cocooning consumers re-evaluate their priorities.

Indeed, the once-appealing notion of ‘breakfast on-the-go’ may be rendered irrelevant as consumers make more conscious efforts to stay home and slow down their hectic lifestyles, says GlobalData.

Broadened breakfast choices

The company’s report, ‘COVID-19 Case Study: New Mealtime Priorities‘, notes that weekday breakfasts in particular were characterised by the desire to pick something quick yet nourishing before rushing to get household members out the door. However, self-isolating consumers have had the time to prepare and consume breakfast at home, which will significantly broaden breakfast choices. 

Katrina Diamonon, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The demands of on-the-go lifestyles are less applicable today, which will diminish the appeal of items such as breakfast biscuits, drinkable yogurt, pouch packaging, and other products geared towards portability. On the other hand, we’re likely to see hot breakfast ingredients, professional-grade coffee machines and baking mixes play a more prominent role in the breakfast occasion.”

Hot sit-down breakfastImage by Free-Photos from Pixabay
GlobalData predicts we’re likely to see hot breakfast ingredients, professional-grade coffee machines and baking mixes play a more prominent role in the breakfast occasion

The new convenience

The report emphasises that convenience is by no means obsolete, but rather it will manifest differently in this new self-isolating reality. For example, a focus on ease and efficiency will still define the lunch occasion, but meal options will expand as homebound consumers enjoy access to a stove, oven, and well-stocked fridge. 

Diamonon continues: “Lunch choices will no longer be driven by individual preferences, but rather what the entire household will eat. Accordingly, single-serve portions and chilled snack packs will be replaced by family-size servings and even cooking kits that children can help with, as school closures and social distancing keep the entire family at home all day.”

Convenience has and will continue to be a fundamental consumer need. The challenge for brands will be to reposition convenience-oriented products to meet the needs of today’s more anxious, isolated and value-conscious consumers.

Diamonon concludes: “Convenience today is not about facilitating hectic schedules, but making time to focus on the people and things that are truly important.” 

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za