Your customers have become home chefs and cooking aficionados this year. In 2021, they are taking their newfound home meal prep skills to the next level. Here are three trends that will influence the products you carry in your stores. We know the  IGES family loves trend reports and articles. Well, guess what? While we haven’t reached 2021 yet, we’ve already identified how three retail purchase trends are evolving. See how your customers’ home cooking habits are influencing the kitchen supplies and tabletop goods they are purchasing!

#1: Reusable Food Storage and Smarter Kitchen Supplies

Sustainability isn’t just a fad. Long overdue, consumers are being more concerned about and conscious of how their purchasing habits negatively impact the environment. It’s leading them to change how they shop and what they buy. In 2021, the U.S. sustainability market is projected to reach $150 billion in sales. Sustainability is a key theme that we see woven into six of our seven trends.

One place it’s dominating is the home goods area. We’re seeing reusable food storage containers, eco-friendly kitchen utensils, and alternatives to single-use plastics being readily stocked in stores. What’s more, we’re seeing shoppers buy them. We are also seeing smarter, smaller kitchen gadgets that help in food preparations being stocked alongside more sustainably made products. Stocking products that address consumers’ desire for more sustainable alternatives is something worth looking into this next year. If you’re wondering if they are willing to pay more for them, they are.

Check out some of the innovative products we are seeing in stores:

#2: Tonics and Tinctures For Your Home Bar

Tonics and tinctures have segwayed into your customer’s at-home bar. Herbal infused syrups, dehydrated fruit, and updated spins on bitters are being used to create non-alcoholic wellness drinks and creative alcoholic cocktails. Brands like Meadowlands, Bittermilk, and Camp Craft Cocktails are popping up in local stores across the West Coast, especially in urban city centers. It may be time to start to test carrying some new ways to mix drinks!

You can use the photos below for merchandising and mixing ideas:

#3: Level UpHome Chef Skills

From sourdough starters to mastering almost every meal at home, the pandemic made home chefs out of almost everyone. We’re seeing two main trends happening in the specialty food product category. The first is the increasing availability of goods that simply make food prep a snap. That includes premade sauces, marinades, dressings and DIY cooking kits. We’re seeing different flavors and larger selections of pre-packaged sauces that can easily be added to a meal. The second trend we’re seeing is the challenge to take someone’s newly developed cooking skills deeper. From becoming a smoking master to leveling up on the grill, those that have embraced and mastered at-home meal prep are starting to look for new challenges. Here are some of the products and books we’re seeing sell well:

Earlier in the year, we started to see that consumers wanted to cook more at home. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this interest skyrocketed. From sourdough bread starters to canning preserves, whole families have returned to the kitchen. With that, we saw four sub-trends develop that we feel that our many of our exhibiting brands somehow predicted. Here they are:

  1. Some Like It Hot. Some Like It Spicy: As a retailer, you’ll want to stock products that add heat and give dishes a kick.
  2. Master Craft Drinks: Make sure you carry bitters, tonics, and favors that make creating cocktails easy. At home, happy hours have become all the rage!
  3. Make Cooking Fun: Convenience is still important, offer premade mixes and spice blends to make home cooking a cinch.
  4. Assist with Self-Care: Tonics, herbs, and teas have found their place as hot items again, it’s important to have products that promote well being on hand. 

Some of the IGES brands featured in this video are: 

  1. Charleston Tea Plantation 
  2. Pearson’s Ranch Elk & Buffalo Jerky
  3. Moon Pie Direct 
  4. Whole Harmony 

While the pandemic has changed the way we have to operate our businesses, customers are still shopping. They have just changed the way they do it and have changed what they purchase. By carrying products they want to buy from you locally, or products you can ship to them, you can continue to see revenue coming in the door. In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking about this much more!

If you want to attend our next show this November, registration is open!

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