2022 – You’ll soon start eating more meatloaf and ice cream due to potential stagnation, which could lead to ‘taste fatigue’, experts say.

Experts predict that a potential recession will prompt people to buy more ice cream for small luxuries.

  • Analysts believe a recession is increasingly likely as food inflation exceeds 9%.
  • Fashion experts have said that comfort foods like ice cream and meatloaf will likely rise in response.
  • One expert called this trend “taste fatigue” because comfort food requires less mental energy to process.

While rising costs caused by supply shortages and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are putting significant pressure on the wallets, the growing tension and anxiety could prompt some to grab those next ice creams.

Experts say there’s a reason for this – and it could lead to major changes in the way we eat amid a growing sense that recession and possibly stagflation are just months away.

Customers start budgeting

40-year high inflation rates in the US are partly due to massive pent-up demand caused by stimulus checks and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, with Americans spending more comfortably from record savings rates.

Now, with gas prices expected to hit $6 a gallon this summer and food inflation above 9% in what is seen as the worst cost-of-living crisis in years, they appear to be pulling back on spending.

In their recent earnings calls, Walmart and Target planned to pass on some of the costs to consumers who had already started changing their eating habits and buying more staple groceries like dairy, tuna and other animal proteins.

Taste exhaustion will increase sales of meatloaf and ice cream

But with people restricting their restaurant meals and becoming increasingly low-fat, some experts predict a rise in simple luxuries to offset the strict new habits. Leith Steele of San Francisco-based Carbonate, a business communications industry focused on hospitality, told Insider that people seek comfort in times of economic hardship.

“We have seen a huge rise in convenience foods [during the recession of 2008/09]. Sales of ice cream increased dramatically because it was delicious but relatively inexpensive,” Steele said. “Meatloaf has gone up because it’s convenient and made from leftovers.” In fact, a 2010 Time magazine article reported that some ice cream vendors saw a 25% increase in sales. between 2009 and 2010.

Steele said that as inflation rises, fewer people will go to restaurants, opting instead for the comforts of home.

Alex Hayes, co-founder of UK-based food and beverage consultancy, Harris & Hayes, agreed that purchases of convenience foods are on the rise. The psychological reason, she said, came from something called “taste exhaustion.”

“Taste stress is a theory that suggests that when times are tougher, people look for simpler flavors that require less energy to process,” Hayes said. “It helps explain why ready-meal sales rise in the doldrums before returning to more adventurous foods and flavors when economies grow again.”

“We’re also seeing a ‘to hell’ situation where people look for comfort, experience, and escape through their choices,” Hayes added. Their last point may explain why Walmart says they’re seeing an increase in baggage sales as pandemic-era restrictions ease.

Fewer vegetables, but more ‘breast enthusiasts’

An increase in comfort eating can come at the expense of healthy eating habits, particularly when fresh food prices rise and affect the demand for vegetables.

“Fresh vegetables are much more expensive than last year, which has led to a collapse in fresh sales,” Hayes said.

Emily Vanpoperinge, founder of Oddbox, a UK-based food company that supplies customers with individual shaped vegetables, told Insider that in times of high inflation, vegetables are usually the first thing left behind.

“When the cost of living is under pressure, people shy away from fruits and vegetables and turn to higher-calorie foods,” said Vanpopering, who struggles with the cost of living.

This may mean fewer vegetarians, Harris and Hayes said, but the trend toward sparing meat consumption, which has been accelerating in recent years, is likely to continue.

“This is not just part of a sustainable lifestyle. It also manages the increasing cost of animal proteins.” “Those who eat meat or fish are looking for cheaper cuts and are finding ways to increase those cuts.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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