Let’s face it. Covid has changed our lives for the foreseeable future. As a communications consultant and discerning consumer, I’ve noticed trends that businesses might take note of. Here’s my list:
1. Outdoor rooms: We know being outdoors is safer than socializing inside. Homeowners are willing to spend those decor and travel dollars on making their own backyard as close to a resort as possible. Products such as outdoor furniture, decor items, lighting, hardscapes and landscapes are in great demand. Creating a space to use daily, whether for quiet meditation or social interaction with a few friends, is one of the best investments you can make. When cabin fever strikes, you’ll be glad for that “extra” room to get away from the 4 walls.
2. Growing your own food is the new DIY – Conversations are shifting in our circles to include growing tips, comparing photos and learning how to deal with pests and plant viruses. This newfound interest in self-sustainability appeals to all ages. Not only do you get a welcome break from being inside, you get to see and use the end product as your reward. Many of us work in jobs that only allow us to see one part of the process. The satisfaction derived from completing a task from start to finish is immense. As a side benefit, I’ve noticed we tend to waste less food when we’ve grown it ourselves.
3. Virtual travel – not in the sense of scrolling through travel posts and brochures, but rather recreating the vibe you get from a trip to another location – think French food & wines, long lunches with a glass of wine and an espresso as Italians might do, gathering around firepits and eating grilled foods as you would enjoy at your favourite camping spot. Add travel themed books, music and movies, along with the slower pace of a vacation, and you’ve got yourself a virtual trip. See my post on Travelling to France during a Pandemic for more ideas.
4. Buying local, buying quality, buying less – You’re only going to get the serotonin rush from online shopping for so long. Buying local will enhance your satisfaction as you haven’t just supported some random manufacturer and contributed to yet more stuff cluttering up the planet. Local producers and makers offer an opportunity to purchase original, high quality goods. You buy fewer items but the pleasure you’ll get from helping your community, as well as owning or consuming something you really value, will surpass the hit you get from that impulse purchase.
5. Cooking – discovering new recipes, trying new ingredients, joining an online cooking demo/party. You can be social about preparing and eating your favourite foods or just share your successes when you are particularly proud of the result. Cooking your own meals allows you to control the quality and quantity of the ingredients, thus improving the overall quality of your daily consumption. If you never had time to cook and favoured eating out, well you now have the time, since you may not have to commute to work nowadays. Planning meals, sourcing ingredients (local markets and farm stands abound in our area, as do wineries, breweries and cideries) and cooking are a great social activity for the whole family. If you are particularly adventurous, try theme meals to match your travel tastes.