Research Says People Are Eating Much Differently During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We're certainly craving more comfort food.
One week in March, reality set in for many Americans about the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic. You might remember Tom and Rita Hanks announced they had tested positive for COVID-19, the travel ban to China went into place and several major sporting events were cancelled all within the span of a few days. From that moment on, our shopping landscape changed in major ways too. (If you need proof, take a look at the toilet paper aisles the next time you make a grocery run!)
But since we should be social distancing and shouldn't be close enough to *really* take a good look at what's in everyone's carts, the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) conducted a 1,000-person survey on April 6 and 7 to share the scoop about how and what Americans are shopping for and what we're eating during the pandemic.
5 Ways Americans Are Eating Differently During COVID-19
Only 20 percent of those polled said that their eating habits haven't changed, but for nearly everyone else it has. Here's how Americans are eating differently.
We're leaning into pantry meals.
Nearly 4 in 10 Americans are purchasing more shelf-stable, pantry-friendly foods and stocking up in bigger batches than they used to pre-pandemic (to reduce trips to the grocery store, a wise way to avoid crowds at the supermarket). As a result of all of those groceries, 47 percent of those polled are eating more home-cooked meals than in early March.
Delivery and takeout rates are down.
Nearly 1 in 3 are ordering less takeout or delivery than before the quarantine. (Psst...it is still safe to get curbside pickup and no-contact delivery, according to CDC experts.)
We're buying more packaged foods.
About 42 percent of people are buying more packaged items than usual, and this is especially more common in those under age 45. If you fit into that pool, consider these packaged foods that are healthier than you might think.
(Worth noting: Experts say you can't get coronavirus through fresh food or produce, so don't fear that either. Just keep these helpful lifespan-extending storage tips in mind so you don't need to make extra grocery trips.)
Online shopping rates have jumped.
We're utilizing as many outlets as possible to shop in person less. About 16 percent of Americans have started shopping for groceries online for the first time ever, and 13 percent of those surveyed are shopping for food online more than before. Keep these 10 tricks in mind for the next time you're purchasing online groceries.
We're snacking more.
More than one in four of us—27 percent—are snacking more, and 15 percent are eating more or more often than they used to. (In case you need it—we do!—these seven foods can help relieve stress.) At the same time, 13 percent of Americans are eating less food or less often.