Continued aftereffects from the COVID-19 pandemic and shifts in consumer attitudes will drive a number of changes to the food industry in the years ahead, according to Douglas Woodruff, Director of R&D at JBT Diversified Food & Health Division. He predicts that increased environmental concerns will continue to spur the plant-based food trend; such diets have increased 300 percent for Americans in the last 15 years. Environmental concerns are also leading to a change in food packaging and food waste.
The pandemic changed consumer behaviour, as the food service sector took a dive and retail shot up, as people were cooking at home or ordering in rather than going to restaurants, and those trends do not seem to be going away; 61 percent of consumers order takeout at least once per week, up from 29 percent one year ago.
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