Consumer Behavior: 3 Pandemic Trends that Will Stick

Consumer Behavior: 3 Pandemic Trends that Will Stick

January 19, 2022
Annette Maggi
TrendsBusiness Skills

By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

We all know that consumer shopping patterns have changed over the past two years. The trick is to determine which trends that have emerged will become new behaviors vs. fad away. Consider these three pandemic consumer behavior trends predicted to stick.


During the pandemic, an unprecedented number of people went through serious introspection, taking stock of their life, their career, and their future. This led to the setting of new goals, a focus on self-improvement, and a new series of programs and services coined “mentor to protégé.” In this concept, teachers, experts, and mentors in a wide variety of self-improvement areas are offering coaching and guidance to individuals on a fee-for-service basis.

  • Retail RD Opportunity: As consumers have engaged in more home cooking, the establishment of home gyms, and increased interest in health, there’s an opportunity to move towards a “master class” focus on trending topics. Additionally, the mentor to protégé concept can be instituted, allowing shoppers to set-up open Q&A appointments focused on their individualized goals, whether it’s cooking techniques, family wellness, or how to truly establish a new healthy habit. While many retail RDs may be offering these services, it’s about repackaging them to align with this new self-improvement trend.

Deal Seeking

With rising cost of goods and the potential of a recession, shoppers are shifting towards more frugal spending, regardless of their income level. Thrifting is now a popular activity, giving positivity to an individual’s brand. Shopping for deals is a popular consumer behavior.

  • Retail RD Opportunity: Consumers enjoy the hunt and seek to understand the cost-benefit of purchase options in front of them. Leverage this consumer behavior by introducing the concept of nutrition for the dollar, showcasing concrete examples. Create kids’ activity related to lower cost sources of key nutrients, such as protein and calcium. Promote new ways to use on-ad items. Create videos featuring ways to use the whole fruit or vegetable to prevent food waste.


It’s true that this isn’t a new marketing concepts but launches of “stories” on social media channels has shown that consumer interest in stories has only gotten stronger during the pandemic.

  • Retail RD Opportunity: For promotion of your programs and services, use testimonials from past participants, which feel authentic and give real life examples of success. Use farmer stories to promote product sustainability, localization, and freshness. Film directly from a farm to give your shoppers a lens directly to the location where their food is grown. Share your own stories of how you struggle with nutrition, whether it’s getting your kids to eat more veggies or managing weight through menopause.