US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

What’s Behind the Ketchup Crisis? Carryout, Comfort Foods, & Hygiene Concerns

The Ketchup Crisis of 2021 is a thing.

But what’s behind it? Three basic trends are listed here and illustrated by data from the February–March edition of The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey:

  • Carryout. 51% of respondents say they used restaurant curbside pickup or carryout options more because of the pandemic, while 37% say they used food delivery services (e.g., restaurants’ own delivery, Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash) more because of the pandemic. This has boosted the need for to-go condiment packets. Individual cups filled by the restaurant is an option, but one that increases the likelihood of a spill and a mess before it gets to the consumer.  
  • Comfort Foods. 35% of respondents note that they are eating more “comfort” foods because of the pandemic. This trend is highest among people aged 18-39, who are less likely to be concerned about the health impacts of these foods. To many US consumers, “comfort” eating means more French fries, hamburgers, and other foods frequently dressed with ketchup.
  • Hygiene Concerns. 76% still think that the coronavirus pandemic is a health threat to them, personally, while 84% think it’s a health threat to their family and friends. Those who express highest levels of concern are most likely to stay away from community condiments (even where they are available, given local health department restrictions on their use in many areas) and prefer single-use packets as more hygienic options.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Packaging area, including Pouches, Flat Pouches: Side Seal & Pillow, US Restaurant Reopening: COVID-19 Impact on Supplies, Global Foodservice Single-Use Products, and Foodservice Single-Use Products; and Packaged Facts reports such as Food Carryout & Delivery and Food Carryout & Delivery: Special COVID-19 Consumer Insights. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

  Covid-19      Food & Beverage      Packaging