Tulsi Joshi
Tulsi is Mintel's Senior Food & Drink Analyst based in Mumbai. She is responsible for analysing and providing insights on India’s food and drink market.

As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, prolonged lockdown in India is impacting how consumers shop and consume food and beverage products. With consumers cocooned at home, there is a sharp surge in demand for food and beverages products that are designed for at-home consumption; and those that can provide indulgence and holistic health benefits beyond just functional benefits.

Here, we look at three key food and beverage trends that are gaining momentum amidst the pandemic and share insight behind the innovations to inspire your next big idea.

Growing interest in holistic health

The prolonged persistence of the pandemic has severely impacted Indian consumers’ emotional and mental wellbeing. According to Mintel research, one-third of Indians agree that their stress levels have increased since the COVID-19 outbreak and half of the consumers are actively seeking ways to reduce stress. 

In fact, almost two in five consumers are interested in food with added benefits to cope with stress. Food and beverage brands can elevate their positioning by offering products that provide functional health benefits, as well as support mental wellness with benefits such as stress relief and improved sleep. 

Amul Ashwagandha Milk, India
This ready-to-drink ayurvedic latte features ashwagandha, a well known adaptogenic herb, that is said to help build immunity, reduce joint pain, develop memory, improve insomnia and reduce mental stress. 

The Tea Trove Moroccan Mint Green Tea, India
This product is said to be a premium organic tea that gives both a sweet and refreshing mint taste. It is low in caffeine, is free from added impurities, artificial flavours and preservatives, and is suitable for vegetarians. This tea claims to help relieve stress, improve digestion, boost immunity, prevent morning sickness, and maintain blood pressure. 

Rise of home baking

With consumers spending more time at home due to the prolonged lockdown, many have turned to home baking. Mintel research reveals that over two in five Indians are interested in learning to bake, while close to a third of consumers find DIY (do-it-yourself) kits for bakery items appealing. As the home baking trend gains traction, several brands launched premixes and DIY baking kits that communicate hassle-free, easy and quick indulgence at home.

Serapheena Cinnamon Spice Jowar & Sweet Potato Flour Cake Mix
The cake mix is made with jowar and sweet potato that are said to be naturally high in iron, calcium and vitamin B and boost immunity and help bone development. The microwavable vegetarian product claims to be free from gluten, maida, preservatives and xanthan gum, and contains raw cane sugar.


American Pancake Co Moist & Light Red Velvet Cake Mix
This non-GMO and vegetarian cake mix is said to be easy to whip up any day of the week and includes icing sugar, cooking instructions and a recipe suggestion. This product can be used to make bite-sized cupcakes or an indulgent red velvet layer cake. 

Demand for indulgence that ‘Feed the Mind’

As a result of heightened stress, consumers often turn to food and beverages for comfort, as a way to help relieve stress, and uplift their mood. In fact, over two in five Indians have treated themselves with their favourite food as a way to manage their emotional wellbeing in the last 12 months. This reflects how an increasing number of consumers associate food with mood. This offers opportunities for brands to offer products with an amped up indulgent quotient to cater to these consumers.

Bonhomia Nirwana Coffee Capsules
This product is said to offer an indulgent coffee experience at home. The coffee capsules are described as an indulgent blend of India’s speciality grade coffees and provides a balanced profile, pleasantness with bold notes and a rounded mouthfeel.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Mousse Filled Chocolate
These mousse filled chocolates added to the existing range offer extra indulgence with a softer, smoother and silkier texture and a more sensorial indulgent chocolate experience for at-home consumption