As the stay-at-home restrictions have been enforced all over the world to mitigate the global impact of the coronavirus outbreak, people get an unprecedented opportunity to experience leisure. In particular, foods and drinks traditionally associated with indulgence—notably, coffee and chocolate—are trending, as evidenced by the pattern of online searches on Google Trends:
The latest market research by Global Data highlights how stockpiling may have come in two forms during the extended lockdown and sheltering measures: products deemed as ‘essentials’ and ‘new essentials’ or comfort items. The latter of which include specific food products—known as ‘healthy comfort foods’—that help keep quarantined shoppers in a state of mindfulness and serendipity to get through the uncertainties of an unforeseen social and economic situation.
Furthermore, the recent #HealthyAtHome campaign launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote a correct lifestyle while being confined at home through physical exercise, mental health, a balanced diet, and tobacco quitting might have given a final blast to the healthy comfort eating trend.
Health consciousness seems to be going to catch up with a growing share of consumers on a prevalent lookout for accessible mass-made products providing a quick fix and mindless reward. For the newly-forming buying habits popping up, specialty and fine food brands could reassess long-term their product lines and review their marketing strategies online.
For fine and craft chocolate brands, the signal emerging from the market during the coronavirus outbreak is evident.
Rather than continue to be absent or even ghost their online presence conforming to the mood of an uneasy situation, the favorable demand for chocolate should prompt fine chocolate brands to do what has never been done before to steer a broader audience in their direction. Such a strategy could be achieved by:
- analyzing the business strengths and weaknesses,
- outlining a clear value proposition for the brand,
- redesigning the presence of the company on the website, search engines, and social media,
- establishing an ongoing dialogue and a relationship of trust with current customers and potential leads.
As the ‘Fine Chocolate’ search online is considerable right now—and likely projected to stay beyond 2020—specialty chocolate brands can take advantage of an extraordinary time to put themselves on the map: