What do drive-in movies, grocery deliveries, and puzzles have in common? They are all vintage trends that fell out of the mainstream long ago, but have seen a major resurgence in 2020.
Thanks to COVID, the way people consume entertainment, the way they shop, and even how they manage their day-to-day lives has changed. While most of the trends have had some sort of technological advancement since they were first popular, they still provide the same value: convenience, health, and a chance for all generations to come together.
After fading away in the 50s and 60s when larger refrigerators were invented, home delivery of groceries has made a major comeback. What started as a need – to stay home and away from stores where COVID could easily be spread – has stuck around because consumers have seen how easy this vintage trend is with the new technology available. For example, in the early 60s, milk was delivered to nearly 30% of U.S. households but by the mid-70s that number was down to 7%1. The use of delivery services like Instacart saw a 200% increase of downloads in the first month of the pandemic alone2. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that home grocery deliveries are projected to reach $38 billion in sales in 2021 with more than 70% of households expected to engage with online food shopping by 20253.
E-Commerce & Entertainment
Before 2020, puzzles weren’t the hottest item on the market. Generally, people were out of the house and when home, would prefer to watch tv or movies on their streaming devices. While streaming services are hotter than ever before, many consumers are opting for some vintage entertainment like puzzles. According to Ravenberger, a puzzle manufacturer out of New Hampshire, sales went up 370% since COVID started4.
In addition, a sudden desire to get outside when possible or find alternatives for exercise since gyms closed has made bicycles and home exercising equipment extremely hard to find. With today’s technology, people are going back to the vintage at-home workout videos (think Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons) and technology that allows us to bring outdoor exercise indoors. Peloton, the fitness equipment company, saw a 66% jump in sales since COVID5 and electric bicycle companies like Rad Power Bikes had to quickly grow their customer service team as their demand and online sales rapidly increased6.
Lastly, one major entertainment source that came back into vogue across the nation is drive-In movies. Cities and suburbs are adopting the once-popular Friday night outing as a way to get out of the house for entertainment but stay safe within their cars.
Medical House Calls
Just like in the 40s and earlier decades, doctors are back to making house calls for general check-ups, pre- and post-surgery appointments, and even for mental health. But this time, technology has brought doctors to our homes using telehealth and appointments over the phone or video calls. In fact, telehealth services increased 35% from 2019 to the beginning of 20207.
Another trend we may see come back in 2021 and beyond is redefining education. Gen Z is starting to explore the idea of entering the workforce rather than going to a traditional four-year university. With school remaining virtual and Gen Z becoming more conscious of their financial stability after going through their first real recession, going back to the trades or learning on-the-job may be a vintage trend that comes back to avoid racking up massive student loan debt. Ultimately, it’s safe to say that COVID has required almost everyone to take a step back and find joy in simple things. Luckily, in today’s day and age, technology has been able to take those vintage ideas and elevate them to an even more complex level, creating convenient, easy-to-use, and entertaining experiences for the new normal.
1 Pantry Paratus, Home Grocery Delivery: The Future (& History) of Grocery Shopping, https://pantryparatus.com/articles/home-grocery-delivery-the-future-history-of-grocery-shopping/
2 U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Effects of Coronavirus Pandemic on Food Delivery Businesses, https://pantryparatus.com/articles/home-grocery-delivery-the-future-history-of-grocery-shopping/
3CNBC, Online grocery sales to surge, grabbing 20 percent of market by 2025 (cnbc.com)
4 USA Today, 24 products selling out online due to the coronavirus pandemic: Toilet paper, cleaning wipes, yeast, and more (usatoday.com)
5Bloomberg, Peloton (PTON) Sales Soared on Coronavirus Boost for Home Workout – Bloomberg
6Electrek, Electric bicycle sales are higher than ever, but it’s created a new problem (electrek.co)
7Forbes, Post-COVID-19 Patient Experience: 3 Ways Healthcare Has Changed, https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/10/01/post-covid-19-patient-experience-3-ways-healthcare-has-changed/?sh=47ae072ab59f