Food and Beverage (FnB) companies faced many challenges in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic- primarily related to delivery, consistency, supply chain, on-time logistics, etc. 

Yet, the pandemic situation has made the e-Commerce sector redesign complete marketing and business strategy again. Nothing in e-Commerce can better exemplify this than the food and beverage industry. 

People are restricted from going outside with family and friends. In such a situation, many restaurants and other food shops cannot survive and run their businesses for a long. 

Proactive grocery stores switched to e-Commerce platforms for taking online orders. As the pandemic took hold, F&B companies re-evaluated the changes that occurred in supply chains, business models, and technologies investment decisions. 

F&B companies have approached consumer-centric strategies to drive new trends and innovation. Below are five key trends that will help shape the F&B industry in 2021:

Online F&B Business Will Continue to be an Imperative

It might be hard to remember or even imagine, but as little as 12 months ago, some of the most extensive food and beverage makers still had no direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce channels. Brands that traditionally managed supermarket stores didn’t want to risk chain stores by selling things online. 

When the pandemic started, only half of the companies in the F&B industry have an online business presence.

If you consider consumer packaged goods (CPG) markets such as PepsiCo, Nestle, Mars, etc., they could earn only 10% of their revenue from DTC offerings in 2019. 

But the pandemic, directly-indirectly, was taken as the recipe for success in the F&B retail industry. Restaurants and stores have to take some actions and create some substitutes for their offline services. Big brands and artisan food makers launched online places and eCommerce stores almost overnight. Supermarket chains and restaurants built new delivery models to reduce demand amid supply chain disruptions. 

As per the results of post-pandemic in 2020, the food and beverage industry has become the most reliable online CPG segment with 44% of profits. In 2021, total online sales of food and beverage, including grocery, jumped 125% from the previous year. The revenue reached $106 billion, as per the research of the Food Industry Association (FMI) ad NielsenIQ

Focus on Healthy Appetites With “Functional Food” & Healthy Beverages

Most spend their lockdown days in the pandemic stress-baking loaves of sourdough, making Dalgona coffees, and hoarding takeout food containers. During the COVID pandemic, consumers started to recognize the impact of mental and physical well-being on their immunity. Industrial experts profit one of the most significant well-being beverage industry in 2021 will focus on a healthy diet categorized into “preventive eating” and “proactive eating.”

In the early 2021 survey conducted by FMCG experts – a market research firm specializing in food – 80% of customers worldwide indicated planning to eat and drink healthier in 2021. Already, 72% of consumers say they regularly research different ways to improve their health. They prefer to consume functional foods to stay healthy. 

Two-third of consumers responded to the survey of Innova that they were looking for products to support their immune system, where one-third of respondents said these concerns increased in 2020 after the pandemic came. 

New and Innovative super foods markets and other stores from the F&B industry are trying to offer healthy, nutritional, and balanced food to boost your immunity. So, new and unique supper foods markets with healthy offerings like mushroom coffee, algae capsules, no- or low-alcohol beverages can be among the top food and beverage industry trends in 2021. 

Climate Crisis Drive Demand For Plant-Based Products

Plant-based food products are on the way to enhancing world phenomenon status, as the trend is consistently evolving. Investment firm UBS projects global growth to enhance from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $80 billion by 2030. 

According to Nielsen Data, meat alternative sales were up 129% compared to the initial nine months of 2019, building it one of the five categories with the most remarkable sales growth amid the pandemic. It is also helpful for vegetarians and vegans to appeal to socially conscious consumers and flexitarians to make them one of the best F&B food trends. 

The trend for plant-based foods and beverages continues to grow, expanding beyond burger replacements. “Demand and usage of plant-based products are increasing with three times growth in emerging categories like mayonnaise, custards, etc.,” stated Food Industry Executive. For instance, many restaurants like McDonald’s are launching trending meals like McDonald’s McPlant. 


As India and the rest of the world enter year 2 of the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to transform your shopping and eating preferences and experiences. To stay competitive, F&B companies must make technologies and focus on investment to be more agile; they should respond quickly to trending scenarios appearing in the ever-changing food and beverage industry to improve customer experience and increase profitability.


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