In a recent virtual meeting discussing how COVID has impacted our FlavourVision trends, there was a homework assignment:

“Find two products in your home that best reflects how your food & beverage choices have changed because of COVID.”

I immediately grabbed my stash of citric acid and wheat gluten.

What?  Who am I?  Citric acid and wheat gluten?!?!?!

Natalie in her kitchen with her essential items: wheat gluten and citric acid

Yes.  In those dark times back in March, I asked myself 3 important life questions:

cup of coffee that says Coffee Makes you Happy

1. What if I run out of coffee?

bowl of limes for cocktails

2. What if I can’t find limes?

natatlie's third essential item: a loaf of bread

3. What if I can’t get bread?

Lockdown looming, COVID fear running rampant, in my most desperate moments, what were my essentials?  The true things I can.not.function without?  Coffee, cocktails, and carbs: my COVID essentials.

COVID has dramatically changed our FlavourVision Trend: DelightFULL.  For me, it has stripped away my normal outlets for delight and indulgence.  There is no trying new bars or restaurants, no entertaining with friends and family.  And forget vacations!  My first family Disney trip?  My adults-only long weekend in Vegas?  Canceled.  The things that once felt like commodities – coffee, cocktails, carbs – now feel like indulgences.  COVID does that to us, doesn’t it?

Even now as I sit working from home it feels delightful to have my kids at school, nature breathing life into my home with the windows open on a beautiful fall day, coffee (okay, it’s creamer with a splash of coffee) in hand, and 80’s alternative music playing in the background.  The day feels peaceful, my mind is so clear, and I am as productive as I have been in weeks.

And THAT is what “indulgence” does for us whether it’s extravagant or simplistic – it processes the stress in our bodies and balances our minds so that we can be fully present and functioning at our best.   Without moments of delight, our productivity decreases, our immune systems weaken, our mental health declines.  Know this: Delight is ESSENTIAL. 

Depending on which definitions you use, my birth year makes me either the oldest of the Millennials or the youngest of the Gen X-ers.  Those 40-ish-year-olds like me spent most of their childhoods without computers or cell phones, became adults as planes crashed into the twin towers, started our careers as the job market crashed, moved out when the housing market collapsed, and are now raising young children in a global pandemic.  We have been through some $h!t.  How will COVID further define us?  Will these harsh realities divide us or unite us?  When future generations study us, perhaps they will marvel at our resilience and we too will be one of the greatest generations.  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, enjoy your ice cream.  Make a sourdough starter.  Have a game night with your kids.  Savor your afternoon iced coffee.  Unwind with a glass (bottle?) of wine.  Remember what matters most, control what you can, and take care of yourself.  The simple pleasures that feel like indulgences right now are not gratuitous; on the contrary, they are NECESSARY.  Promise me you find those moments of delight anywhere you can.

Click here to learn more about how COVID has impacted DelightFULL, one of the 7 FlavourVision consumer trends.

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