Covid-19 Pandemic changing how we food shop, and eat, new research confirms

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major changes in the way Americans shop for their food, and in how they feel about grocery shopping, reports marketing firm Influence Central in new research it recently published.

Among the findings:

• 72% of consumers are going to the grocery store less frequently than they did before the pandemic.
• Consumers now overwhelmingly prefer shopping online with home delivery, followed by drive-by or curbside pickup, as opposed to actually going into a store to shop.
• 56% of consumers say they feel anxious about forgetting to pick up or not being able to find specific foods when shopping in-store.

My local Food 4 Less supermarket ona recent trip. I couldn’t wait to get out because of pandemic fears.

I’ll be doing several posts on this research. It quantifies and reinforces a lot of the anecdotal shopping experiences I’ve already been writing about, plus provides more details about what people are buying.

More than half of families’ eating habits have changed as they’ve been staying at home with 70% snacking and eating more frequently than they did pre-pandemic. And it’s not clear if they’re eating healthier or simply throwing down more junk food.

  • 43% eat more fruit and
  • 42% eat more vegetables,
  • 30% are eating more protein in the form of meat, poultry or fish.
  • 47% are turning to more sweets,
  • 24% have decreased their vegetable intake,
  • 21% east less fruit and 19% are eating less protein.

The take-away for food companies: “Marketing will be in constant evolution throughout the upcoming year as consumers decide which habits to keep, and which return to the “old normal,” says Stacy DeBroff, CEO and Founder, Influence Central, in her report entitled: FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD: The COVID-19 Edition.

Having just endured another trip to a supermarket the same day I’m writing this post, I know I remain extremely anxious about food shopping, especially now that many people seem to think the pandemic is over.

Yet, I don’t think home delivery can supply all my needs, especially of the low-salt, low-fat items I search out for my heart-healthy diet.

Influence Central surveyed 630 consumers in May to gather the insights it’s now reporting.

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