Spices and Seasonings Market Trends: The Pandemic Effect is Sticky
In its FQ1 2021 earnings call, McCormick & Company (NYSE:MKC) CEO Lawrence Kurzius highlighted the company’s February 2021 Consumer Survey, which revealed positive consumer sentiment carrying over from a year-end “want to cook” mindset which is having a favorable impact on sales. Approximately 50% of the consumers surveyed are cooking more now including cooking “from scratch,” and approximately
40% also indicated they’re trying to recreate restaurant meals at home. More than two-thirds of surveyed consumers claim they would maintain or increase their current level of cooking at home, irrespective of a post-pandemic return to normalcy.
“The rise in popularity of home cooking that occurred early in the coronavirus pandemic has been sustained. This has really become a trend that’s becoming a habit.”
– Lawrence Kurzius, CEO
McCormick & Company, in an interview with CNBC
Numerous studies support that the cooking-from home trend has staying power, a boon for spices and seasonings manufacturers:
- Consumer market research firm HUNTER examined cooking trends nine months into the pandemic. In its December 2020 “Food Study Special Report Wave Two: America Keeps on Cooking,” it was revealed that 51% of consumers are continuing to cook more and 41% are baking more than they did at the same time last year. A compelling 71% of those who are cooking more expect to continue after the pandemic ends, up 20 points from April 2020. Eating healthier (56%) and feeling good (56%) were identified as leading motivators for their at-home cooking habit. Other telling findings: 47% are trying new ingredients, 52% new brands and products, and 52% are continuing to rediscover old favorites (24% ingredients, 16% brands and products).
- A Nestlé commissioned survey noted that even when it’s safe to return to normal, 65% of respondents expected to continue cooking from scratch, reported Food Dive.
- A July/August 2020 Acosta report “COVID-19: Reinventing How America Eats” also confirms the shift to at-home eating may be long-lasting: Post pandemic, about 29% of consumers plan to eat dinner out less often or not at all, 33% plan to eat lunch out less often or not at all, and 47% plan to eat breakfast out less often or not at all.
- Eating and drinking occasions in the home climbed to 88%, according to a Hartman Group report “COVID-19’s Impact on Eating” (based on a study fielded in April 2020), while away from- home occasions were reduced by half.
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