Covid Taste Buds

The Lempert Report
January 27, 2022

Phil: Another story has hit the news on COVID 19 and food. 

Sally: Yes. A new study is suggesting that at least one third of people have genuinely lost their ability to perceive basic taste. Now we don't know exactly why, um, the virus could be directly damaging taste buds. Um, it could also just be, uh, a reaction to inflammation in the body from being from being ill. Um, but people are definitely, um, saying that they cannot distinguish between certain taste. 

Phil: So if in fact we've got this huge population that has had COVID that loses their taste buds, what does that mean for the CPG companies, um, who are developing the products? Do we, do we then have to make the flavors more intense and, uh, to, to think out of the box for a moment, uh, do we then have to have two flavors, you know, similar to what we have with salsa, we've got mild, medium and spicy and probably extra spicy now for the COVID. Are we gonna start to see packaging that says, you know, for COVID loss of taste buds, 

Sally: Possibly, and I think we've also gotta start thinking a lot more about the importance of the mouth feel of food, because that is going to have, um, an even there's going to be a, a greater, um, maybe perception of that as well, because the taste buds are lacking. 

Phil: Yeah. It'll, it'll be an interesting issue that we really have to look at very seriously. And especially as we talk about prepared foods, whether it comes from takeout from Instacart or wherever else, um, that, that we're gonna start to see a further bifurcation of taste buds. And what, what does that do to complicate, you know, products that, that are out there, whether they be fresh, whether they be in a restaurant, are we gonna see as result of this, a whole new line of spices from people like McCormick and Tabasco, and so on to really break through, uh, to, to have this, it'll be interesting to watch