The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically challenged retailers and private brand suppliers with sourcing issues, health and safety, and getting product on shelves. In some cases, retailers slimmed down production lines, needing to cut back on new flavors or introductions to focus solely on the products needed most in stores.
With that said, retailers didn’t give up on innovation entirely. If anything, it’s clear that retailers adapted innovation to meet new consumer needs stemming from the pandemic. For example, with restaurants having to close in-door dining at times, and shoppers cooking more at home, retailers stepped up in seasonings, sauces and frozen meals with their own brands, providing global and restaurant-inspired flavors.
Retailers and suppliers also answered a call from shoppers for healthier options during the pandemic, ramping up plant-based programs and functional foods.
Store Brands’ annual Editors’ Picks program highlights some of these trends and more.