K Group’s Trend Review: More and more people interested in eating a varied diet next year – is the era of fad diets over?

The Covid-19 pandemic has put health in focus and made us reflect on our lifestyles. As a result, people now intend to eat a more varied diet in 2022. As many as 54% of trendsetter consumers believe they will follow a varied diet in their everyday lives in the coming year. K Group once again listed the most interesting consumer behaviour trends and popular products.

As part of its 2022 trend review, K Group conducted a survey to which 1,279 Finns responded. According to the survey, as many as 54% of trendsetter consumers believe they will follow a varied diet in their everyday lives next year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has made Finns pay attention to their own wellbeing, and it has clearly also increased interest in ordinary, varied everyday food. People want to take care of themselves by eating well. We may ask if the era of fad diets is over,” says Heidi Jungar, Customer Insight Director for Kesko’s grocery trade division.

“The effort to feel better is reflected in consumers’ shopping baskets as good sales development for non-alcoholic beverages and various berries and berry blends, for example. In recent years, chicken has grown in popularity as a lighter alternative, and the data also shows that this year, slightly more vegetables have been bought than before. People are supplementing a varied diet with basic vitamins, and their sales have risen by 51% compared to pre-pandemic times,” says Harri Hovi, Director, Commerce, grocery trade division.

In addition to a more varied diet, next year Finns are set to appreciate local Finnish food and products by small producers. Finns believe that they will value and favour Finnish products even more than before. 55% of trendsetter consumers consider local and small producers’ products to be trendy, while the corresponding figure for the youngest group of 18–24-year-olds is as high as 65%. Next year, more and more people will also want to compare the sustainability of products in the grocery store.

Traditional skills on the rise

Finns plan to choose seasonal food next year, especially because of its lower prices. “I would say that interest in seasonal eating and knowing when each ingredient is at its best and most affordable is related to both considerate consumption and the desire to develop as a cook. Traditional household skills are making a comeback, so it’s very trendy to learn how to use also the cheapest ingredients,” says Jungar. 

Ready-to-eat bought more often – cooking now specialises in a specific area

A change has taken place on the ready-to-eat shelf, and especially the development of higher-quality and restaurant-level alternatives has increased during the pandemic: based on K Group’s sales data, the number of customers buying ready-to-eat food has increased. Nonetheless, Finns are also very interested in cooking and want to learn more about it.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a new enthusiasm for cooking. Many people want to specialise and delve into a specific subarea of cooking, such as sourdough baking or pizzas. Peer support is an important part of development. Tips and experiences are shared on social media,” says Jungar.

“The data show that for the second year in a row, tastes from around the world and seasoning are growing strongly. For example, the sales of olive oils are growing. People who cook are also interested in unusual ingredients such as shellfish or special ingredients for preparing a particular course,” says Hovi.

When people return from homes to workplaces, the need for time-saving services will increase. As it is, the last place of the Top 5 list is occupied by favouring online grocery shopping. Finns expect to be using online grocery shops more next year. According to a K Group survey*, in five years’ time, 60% of Finns believe that they will shop groceries online, at least occasionally.

Top 5 things believed to increase in everyday life next year**

  • I appreciate Finnish food and favour it (53%). I find locally produced and sustainable ingredients trendy (55%)
  • I believe I will follow a varied diet (54%)
  • I compare the sustainability of products when grocery shopping (43%)​
  • I favour seasonal products because of their lower prices. (42%)​
  • I buy groceries online (39%)

Hit product groups from K Group’s sales data:

Non-alcoholic beer +97%
Dark roasted coffee +66%
Frozen clams +60%
Berry mixes +54%
Vitamins +51%
Chinese cabbage +41%
World flavours +39%
Mineral waters +29%
Olive oils +28%
Organic eggs +28%
Green plants +26%
Processed lettuce and cabbage +24%
Peppers +23%
Broccoli +21%
Seasoning +21%
Pastry products +21%
Ready-to-eat food +17%
Cut flowers +17%
Small citrus fruit +15%

 

*K Group survey of online grocery shopping, September 2021 N=2,283
**Consumer survey in K-Kylä, October 2021. N=1,279, trendsetter consumers

Both materials have been weighted to correspond to the population of Finland by age, gender and place of residence. The surveys were carried out by Frankly Partners.

The data boosts of the press release are based on K Group’s sales data for 2019–2021. The comparison was made by comparing the current year, 08/2021–09/2021, to the period before the coronavirus, 03/2019–02/2020. This way, we could thus assess which product groups’ sales have increased during the Covid-19 period and have remained at a higher level than before.

 

 

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