The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything — even how we eat.
Our food culture changed drastically over quarantine and continued to evolve in the months following lifted stay-at-home orders. We’re two years in, and we’re still trying to figure out the long-lasting impression the pandemic has left on our communities.
Whether you started baking again or ordered takeout every night, everyone had their own way of dealing with quarantine. But have our tastes and preferences really changed?
We’re examining some of the most notable pandemic food trends that emerged during the peak of the pandemic and their possible longevity in food culture.
Which Pandemic Food Trends Are Here to Stay?
Pretty much everyone has heard the term “the new normal.”
As part of the new normal, everyone had to adjust how they interacted with food. Here’s our take on what pandemic food trends aren’t going away any time soon.
Cooking From Scratch
Did you start baking sourdough during quarantine? You aren’t the only one.
Active dry yeast saw a 647% sales increase in March 2020. Shelter-in-place orders meant we all suddenly had a lot more time on our hands. People needed to fill that time and started cooking their meals “the slow way.”
Although we no longer have government orders keeping us home, many people used the experience to learn how to cook their meals from scratch.
And thanks to the work-from-home revolution, employees worldwide are keeping remote or hybrid jobs.
With this flexibility, it’s highly possible that we see a long-term return to home-cooked meals.
For many people, ordering takeout became the new norm during quarantine.
You couldn’t go to happy hour at your favorite restaurant, but you could safely enjoy comfort meals from your living room. Industry sales slumped by $240 billion. But pickup and delivery options gave struggling restaurants a chance to limp on, despite losing most of their business.
According to the National Restaurant Association, customers’ tastes and preferences have changed because of quarantine measures.
Two years into the pandemic, 68% of people are more likely than before to purchase takeout. The ease of using delivery apps like DoorDash, Favor and Uber Eats has only helped fuel this shift.
Using at-Home Meal Kits
The meal kit industry boomed during quarantine as people looked for convenient, affordable meals.
Popular meal kits like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron were in a prime position — they benefited from people who rarely ate at home and had little to no experience cooking for themselves.
It wasn’t just meal kit services that offered easy-to-make dinner options. Restaurants jumped on the trend and started creating their own packages. Simple kits for meals made with few ingredients attracted customers’ attention and allowed many restaurants to stay in business.
Going on Video Dinner Dates
Many people felt incredibly restless as they had to isolate themselves from friends and family.
Dinner parties, small-group lunches and happy hours had to take a back seat amid strict stay-at-home orders. Setting up virtual dinner dates over apps like Zoom or FaceTime became a common practice to fight loneliness.
Even strangers joined the trend, and websites like Schefs popped up to facilitate these new connections.
Two years later, outlets are still publishing articles with titles like “How to Host a Virtual Dinner Party.” Whole event-planning companies are specializing in hosting fully virtual get-togethers.
Staying connected with loved ones can be challenging, but the emergence of virtual dinner parties could continue to be a helpful solution.
Whether you move away from your hometown to attend school or start a new job, virtual dining will be an option to share meals with friends and family.
Make Incredible Homemade Meals With Good Home Chef
It’s impossible to know how the future will continue to change our relationship with food, but we know one thing for sure — creating restaurant-quality meals at home is easy with Good Home Chef.
Do you have any other pandemic food trend that you want to share? let us know in the comment section below!
We have all the resources you need to elevate your home-cooked meals, whether you need tried-and-true recipes or expert-level cooking tips. Check out our website for everything you need to know to add a professional touch to your plate. You can also explore our Instagram page for inspiration.
Featured pic via Unsplash