It is certainly the case that busy lives can cause frequent stress. “As many as 30% of consumers claim to experience stress at least once each day”, said Lu Ann Williams, Head of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “This is highest in the younger age groups and gradually reduces with age”. It is also the case that the impact of stress can differ by age, with Gen Z (18-25) most likely to say that stress affects their mood, Millennials (26-35) over indexed on responses related to dietary impacts, and older Gen X (46-55) on sleep factors.
Eating habits are clearly impacted by consumers’ busy lifestyles. Interestingly, home cooked and healthy foods are still named as the most important support for busy lives, so there is clearly a desire to maintain positive nutrition despite time pressures. Convenience foods and snacks are also important, while one-quarter of respondents say that energizing, comforting, and relaxing food and drinks have a role to play.
During the global COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers have witnessed major lifestyle changes, with enforced “stay at home” measures reducing their once busy lives to far more static existences. There are questions over whether some consumers might maintain a slower pace of life once restrictions are lifted. If so, there could be future potential for scratch/semi-scratch cooking ingredients and home baking products, which have been major beneficiaries of the crisis.