Trust and Transformation: Comfort and Convenience in the Cart - Signal Theory

Signal Theory’s relationship with the foodways system is unique. Because we work with clients across the entire foodways spectrum, we are at the center of it all. We can see how branches of the system interact and analyze the impact of events from a holistic perspective.

Wave 5 of FoodThink, a longitudinal study, was conducted in October 2020. This study was designed to capture the thoughts and perceptions of U.S. consumers during the pandemic and preemptively measure the impending shifts in their future food shopping behavior.

With all of this change, there are a number of consumer behavior trends that retailers and food brands must consider.

  • When it comes to food shopping, over half of consumers responding to the FoodThink survey say they plan to adopt at least some of the changes they’ve made as a result of the pandemic.
  • The pandemic has had a wide impact on consumers’ relationship with food, not to mention the various food suppliers in the foodways system. There were shifts in food consumption toward convenience and comfort.
  • People gravitated toward food that brought them joy in an otherwise scary and seemingly dismal situation.
  • Cooking and trying new foods became an outlet for U.S. consumers. Nearly half of all survey respondents reported packaging as a consideration when trying a new food brand.
  • Just as branding is important, brand reputation is too. Reputation landed among the important considerations during food-related purchase decisions.
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