Garfield went on to note that the pandemic accelerated existing trends, such as digitization and channel-shifting, but it also has led to new habits, such as more local travel by consumers.
In addition, environmental concerns have grown and are increasingly impacting buying decisions. He said companies should "double-down" on the better-for-you trend, and "do it in a holistic way, meaning not just focusing on food ingredients but also on total transparency, packaging, methods of distribution, and anything else that impacts the planet."
The Most Anxious group of consumers are also the most likely to have their purchasing influenced by social media, while the Health Concerned group puts more focus on quality and services offered when deciding what to buy and where to shop.
Garfield advised that while some online purchasing habits developed during the pandemic will remain very strong — such as online shopping for beauty products, clothing and footwear — AlixPartners' research shows that some are likely to "snap back to store," such as grocery shopping.