If there's one thing we can all agree on, life in the pandemic has been sobering. 
So when we asked friends of joyful plate about their top 3 food and beverages at home during this experience, we weren't surprised at all that  
coffee came up as a go-to in the 40+ group - who are holding down jobs, home-schooling and planning meals for the family.  
Have to do something hard? Coffee.The darker and denser the better.  
(Reminds me I still have a great e-book waiting for me, Michael Pollen's latest "How Caffeine Created the Modern World").     
Before the pandemic we might hit the alarm clock, jump in the shower and dash out the door most mornings. Working from home there's less of a sense of urgency, but also a need for a break in the monotony.   
The familiarity of the daily routine can breed a strange contempt.     
But to know there's a hot brew ready for you? Priceless.
 "I have Sumatra and Italian Roast Starbucks K-cups on hand at all times".
"What are your top 3 food and beverages at home during the past 6 months 2020?"     
40-60 year olds  (80% F, 20% M) 
1. Creamy Comfort Foods like peanut or almond butters, Greek yogurt, ice cream (Jeni's Gooey Butter Cake or for non-dairy, Cado Avocado) and Daisy sour cream offer feelings of rich pleasure.   
2. Movie-theatre food like popcorn, Salt n Vinegar Potato Chips, Stacy's Pita Chips, Tate's Chocolate Chip cookies and snack mixes like (Japanese seaweed chips, wasabi peas, crunchy savory snacks) are eaten with a "hand-to- mouth" repetition that is the perfect complement to a Netflix binge. Or even handfuls of Cheerios.   

"Popcorn kernels for the apocalypse!".
3. Home Cooks Need Hacks like Maya Kaimal curry sauces and habanero, when the day-to- day drudgery of cooking is too boring to bear. We wrote about semi-homemade helpers like pre-made flavor boosters to spice things up in the kitchen in May: Kitchen Sanctuary. 
4. Protein Sources like tuna steaks, frozen shrimp, Foster Farms Chicken, Impossible Burgers or Sausage are conveniently stored in the freezer and are easy to prepare quickly.   
5. A break from water (4c's "Tea to Go" 10 cal, sugar free packets iced tea & lemonade, seltzer water (Soda Stream), coconut water, etc.  
18-24 year olds  (80% F, 20% M)
Luckily for us, our intern started this fall and was eager to poll her age group. This group was mainly women (college juniors and seniors), living on their own, buying for themselves on Instacart, via delivery, etc. 
What's important to this group? Nourishment, keeping themselves full and satiated and easy portability.  But a "cheat day" with salt/sweet snacks is "TOTALLY OK", especially during these stressful times. For many of these women, weight watching is key. 
Foods that seem healthy and filling? Hummus. And tubs of it. And snack bars.  

"Bobo's has one of my favorite snack bars. They have good flavors (lemon poppy seed is my personal favorite) but they are healthy and full of protein. During the pandemic, I've had to continue to go into work so this has been a great thing for me to take into work that I can snack on during the day". 
Click through to the various foods and brands by age group in the slide deck here.
And enjoy my zoom chat with Corinne, our new 21 year old intern here to gain insight into similarities and differences by age group. 
At joyfulplate, we've specialized for years in business analysis, consumer insights, innovation, creative writing and packaging/digital design in the food/bev/lifestyle space.  
Please contact
to give a healthy boost of strategic creativity to your next project!    
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