Survey: COVID-19 is impacting food purchasing and eating behaviors

People are changing their food purchasing and eating behaviors because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a consumer research survey by the International Food Information Council.

Tamika Sims, director of food technology communications, says people surveyed are eating more home-cooked meals and ordering less takeout or delivery.

“We found that 47 percent of consumers said they are cooking more meals at home and 28 percent said they are doing delivery or takeout less,” she says

The survey also showed that more consumers started ordering groceries online or are increasing the frequency of online grocery deliveries.

Sims says consumers remain confident in the safety of the food supply and the ability for producers to meet their needs.  

“We had 39 percent that said they are very confident the food is safe, and 43 percent say they’re somewhat confident,” she says. “We hope that the message is that people can feel confident in the food that they’re buying.”

Other survey results include: four in 10 people are buying more packaged foods, 27 percent of people surveyed say they’re snacking more than usual, and 15 percent said they’re eating more often than usual.

Respondents were also asked about what actions they’d like to see grocery store employees take. Forty-three percent said frequently wiping down commonly touched surfaces is important as well as wearing gloves and masks. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they were most worried about the health of other shoppers and 37 percent said they were worried about the health of store employees.  

About 1,000 people who are a representative sample of the population were surveyed.

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