I’ve been blogging for several days about fascinating new research from Influence Central about how the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted how people eat and cook. Today I’m focusing on what it’s meant for cooking time and take-out behavior.
While people are being forced to eat more at home, they don’t seem to be turning into health-conscious cooks who spend hours each day in their kitchens, the study finds. For example:
- 46% are willing to spend 15 to 30 minutes cooking
- 44% will spend 30-60 minutes.
- Only 23% are willing to devote more time to dinner prep
- 73% are devoting about the same as prior to stay-at-home orders
Sadly, what this means is many are eating unhealthy meals.
“Frozen meals from pizzas to more substantial heat and serve entrees, prepared meals ready to cook from the supermarket, and canned goods such as soups and chili become go-to items,” says Stacy DeBroff, CEO and founder, Influence Central.
“It’s clear that even with more time at home, some people still don’t necessarily want to spend all day in the kitchen,” she says.
All of those choices are normally very high in salt and can be high in fat and sugar as well.
When it comes to take-out:
• 69% of consumers have ordered take-out or delivery food from restaurants during the pandemic.
• 71% order from restaurants they ate in prior to the crisis.
• 87% order take-out from a specific local restaurant out of a desire to support the restaurant financially.
• When it comes to getting food delivered, consumers’ top choice is direct from the restaurant itself (60%). Favorite delivery services: Door Dash, followed by GrubHub and Uber Eats.
“More than half said they have not been concerned to leave the house to pick up food or collect it from a delivery driver,” DeBroff reports.
Influence Central found that the top ordering choices are:
1. Pizza (79%)
2. Fast Food (52%)
3. American and Pub Food (ex. Burgers and wings) (45%)
4. Mexican (39%)
5. Asian (35%)
6. Italian other than Pizza (23%)
Sadly, again, not very healthy choices.
Influence Central surveyed 630 consumers in May for this research. It will be interesting to see how these choices change as people begin venturing out to eat again.
I saw packed outdoor tables at local restaurants near my suburban Chicago home last weekend, which frankly surprised me. I don’t plan to mingle that closely with others for quite some time with Covid-19 still roaming unchecked among the population.