2021 was an interesting year for CPG trends, in no small way due to the advent of Pop Up Grocer. Pop Up Grocer is a traveling pop-up grocery store that showcases new and innovative grocery products—from F&B to home, pet, and body care.
Grocery shopping, in general, has faced a lot of changes in the past couple of years, with online shopping becoming more and more popular. But Pop Up Grocer might be changing the game yet again.
Keep reading to find out the trends that made Pop Up Grocer’s 2021, and what 2022 will bring.
Why Was Pop Up Grocer So Popular in 2021?
Pop Up Grocer was founded in April of 2019 by Emily Schildt but took off in popularity in 2021. Schildt’s motivation was to showcase unique and lesser-known brands that could highly appeal to a Millennial audience—items like plant-based gelato, chocolate hazelnut spreads, and mushroom (adaptogen) snacks, for example.
But that’s not all—Pop Up Grocer is different from any other grocery store or market out there because of how it prioritizes the discovery aspect of shopping, as opposed to convenience.
Discovery over Convenience
Part of what makes the “best” experience at any retail outlet is convenience. Consumers are looking for a streamlined experience when they shop, especially in recent years. However, Pop Up Grocer chose a different route, which is definitely paying off.
Pop Up Grocer doesn’t stock their shelves with everything a person might need, but instead presents a filtered assortment of items that could easily go unnoticed at a traditional grocery store. By doing this, they offer consumers the chance to buy specific, better-for-you items, while providing new retailers a path to their target audience.
The Main Pop Up Grocer Trends in 2021
Let’s take a look at the trends that made up Pop Up Grocer’s 2021:
We mentioned hazelnut chocolate spreads earlier, and we’re mentioning them again. With several brands launching hazelnut chocolate items, this is one of the biggest CPG trends of the past year.
In general, there was a rise in consumption of sweets and food items with a sweet flavor profile—something that ties in with the next trend.
Eating for Joy
Gone are the days when people tried to eat with health as their primary motivation. After a hard few years, we’re seeing more and more people eat for pleasure, although health benefits are still enjoyed. Thanks to this, packaging is also taking a turn, becoming more positive, bright, and colorful.
Especially in the case of Pop Up Grocer, which prefers brands with aesthetically pleasing packaging, it’s easy to see this trend occur in real-time.
2021 saw a 55% increase in sales of refrigerated beverages. This ties in with the rise in sober curiosity, with many people questioning and moving away from a culture of casual drinking. Apart from growing sales of sparkling water and caffeine alternatives, there was also a rise in alcohol-free products that simulate alcoholic drinks.
The beginning of the pandemic saw many people switch up their home cooking habits, but in 2021, more people seemed interested in meals requiring little to no preparation time. Rather than elaborate home-cooked meals, the current trends are leaning towards refrigerated, ready-to-eat items that can be consumed quickly and easily.
Mushrooms, or rather, adaptogens, have found their way into a variety of food items, from energy bars and cereal to even sparkling water. Adaptogens have been long lauded for their health benefits, claiming to help with stress, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and more.
Pop up Grocer Trends to Watch in 2022
So, what’s in store for 2022? First, let’s pick up where we left off:
The rise in beverage popularity isn’t going anywhere, especially when it comes to caffeine alternatives. Several brands have products packed with B-vitamins like B12, maca, ginseng, etc.
Another prominent trend we’re seeing is bubbly beverages, especially those with international flavor profiles. Specifically, people are consuming more Asian and South American flavors like yuzu, calamansi, passionflower, and more. According to Schildt, beverages are a simple way for people to get adventurous, so we can expect to see a lot more bubbly beverage flavors this year.
We can expect the rise in adaptogens to develop a bit more this year. Thanks to hybrid work models, people are getting more experimental with their breakfasts. In particular, superfood pancakes are on the rise—with nutritional pancake mixes with collagen, adaptogens, and protein becoming more popular.
Ready-to-eat food isn’t going anywhere. Instead, we’re looking at several restaurants launching their own lines of packaged food. The rise in frozen food is also here to stay, leading to a lot of added benefits like lower pricing, higher nutritional value, and more options.
Apart from these trends, here are some of the newer Pop Up Grocer trends that you can expect to see this year:
Mask usage is becoming a bit more relaxed, which might be the reason behind new lines of breath fresheners popping up. Some next-gen breath fresheners brands are already on the market, with a couple of these claiming to boost your immunity.
Aphrodisiacs are making their way through the grocery aisles thanks to the increase in sex-positivity. In 2022, we’re looking at increased incorporation of Ayurvedic herbs and adaptogens in F&B items that promise to improve your mood and support an active libido.
More and more shoppers are becoming more conscious of where they shop—with consumers preferring to make purchase decisions from brands that align with their values. Brand identities, stories, and voices will therefore make an impact on their sales.
Since Pop Up Grocer focuses on supporting founders of color, women, and other underrepresented groups, we can expect them to largely benefit from this trend.
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