2020 consumer trends: The year of the pandemic

26th November 2020

Just how much has the pandemic and a national lockdown influenced consumer trends?

2020 is coming to an end and what a year it’s been. We’ve all learnt something from this year and we’ve been put through our paces with covid-19 having an impact on many aspects of our lives. Healthy alternatives, vegan trends and plant-based have all been big on the agenda this year as The Grocer explains, “More than half of consumers who considered switching their diet cited health as a reason – putting it above the environment and animal welfare concerns. That only changes among 18 to 25-year-olds, who named the environment as the biggest influence in opting for plant-based.”

We won’t be the only ones to have noticed a number of consumer trends emerging. Here are some of the top trends from 2020 we have seen here at Queenswood and we highlight some of the key products which have topped these lists.

Hand Soap







Washing our hands has never been as important as it has this year. It’s been drilled into us to wash our hands for 20 seconds to help stop the spread of coronavirus, so it makes sense that one of our biggest sales increases has been hand soap. According to Trust Pilot, 77% of UK consumers said they purchased soap and hand sanitiser this year. In the early days of lockdown, we saw shelves emptied and stockpiling of hand soap, among other necessities like loo roll, bread and milk. As panic eased and we settled into this new way of life, supply and demand levelled out, but it has still proven to be a big seller throughout the year and will likely continue into 2021.

Ecover Zero Hand Soap is our go-to; perfect for those with sensitive skin, it’s created with plant-based and biodegradable ingredients, protects your skins pH level and is never tested on animals.









Yes, that’s right, we’re following the trends closely on a health theme and rightly so. With a deadly virus circulating the population it’s no surprise that consumers are keen to gear-up their immune system and better prepare themselves for a potential fight with Covid-19. Multivitamins were another product which flew off of shelves and they’re still incredibly popular as we move into the harsh winter months where illnesses like colds and flus are more prevalent.

Vitamin D is one of the key ingredients to help support our immune system. Usually we would get a dose of the good stuff from the summer sun, but in the winter months we often need a bit of an extra boost. BetterYou Vitamin D Oral Spray is a great option, perfect for fast and effective absorption and ideal for those who don’t like taking pills!

We also love Pukka’s Elderberry and Echinacea tea. Not only is it full of essential vitamins and antioxidants to help boost the immune system, it can also help to alleviate certain pains like headaches, stomach ache and tooth pain.

Sambucol have released a great new product for children in the form of Black Elderberry Liquid. It helps to fight off colds and flus, has been scientifically tested, has no artificial colours or flavours and tastes delicious. Great to give the kid’s immune system a boost.

Oat Milk










A consistent winner amongst the many milk alternatives, oat milk is one of the most popular options for consumers this year. Being vegan friendly, it’s bang on the money as more and more consumers are turning to veganism as a way of life. According to The Vegan Society “Interest in ‘veganism’ increased seven-fold in the five years between 2014 and 2019. It now gets almost four times more interest than vegetarian and gluten free searches.”

Many consumers have become more conscious of shopping for organic products as well. Tie this in with the growing vegan trend and products like Oatly Organic Oat Milk have been very successful. It’s made from 100% organic oats, it’s vegan friendly, contains no added sugar and is full of beta glucans which are great for heart health; essential for maintaining normal cholesterol levels in the blood.

Fermented food and drink







Fermentation may seem like a new and exciting trend, but it’s actually been around for thousands of years. What does fermented actually mean? Fermentation promotes the growth and life cycle of good bacteria to transform the flavour and shelf life of ingredients. Think of pickled onions, cultured yogurt or even cider which are all made through the process of fermentation. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) has been big on trend, along with Kombucha (a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and live cultures) and Miso (that’s ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese.)

Fermented food and drink are rich in antioxidants which support the immune system, and probiotic bacteria which is the good bacteria and increases the health of your gut microbiome and supports digestion. However, if you’re not used to eating fermented foods, ease into it slowly. Although it is full of good bacteria, initially, it can also create excess gas and bloating – not great for sensitive stomachs or those with IBS.

Want to introduce fermented products into your diet? Why not give Captain Kombucha Californian Raspberry Bio-Organic a try, for a refreshing and healthy drink.

Sustainable Shopping







Since lockdown, we have all had a bit more time to reflect on our values, hobbies and buying habits. It seems that sustainability and environmental issues has become a big motivational factor on how people shop and what they do with their waste, particularly with the younger age groups.

According to a study by IBM (2020), “Nearly six in 10 consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. Nearly eight in 10 respondents indicate sustainability is important for them. And for those who say it is very/extremely important, over 70 percent would pay a premium of 35 percent, on average, for brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.”

We have found a big increase in consumers wanting to purchase organic, recyclable and zero waste products. People are more conscious about their impact on the environment and campaigns like David Attenborough’s One Planet documentary, and The Organic Trade Board‘s promotion of ‘Nature has the Answer’, has all helped to fuel this movement.

One of our own projects here at Queenswood is The Zero Waste Project, you may have seen some of our Zero Waste products in your local corner shop or eco-store. Distributed through dispensers, customers can purchase a range of food like pasta, rice, oats, nuts and seeds without packaging. They simply bring their own containers with them, fill their containers, weigh them, print a label and pay. We have seen a massive uptake and demand for these in stores across the South West and beyond.

Natural health and beauty brand Faith in Nature are also jumping on to this trend and have been strong advocates for zero waste hair care, body wash and cleaning products. They also offer refillable stations in stores across the UK. Find your local store.

It’s definitely been an eye-opening year and we’ll be watching closely to see what trends continue into 2021 and what new ones immerge. Watch this space!


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