Eating Habits Are Changing Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

June 15, 2020

My wife makes pizza now.

Before we were mainly homebound by the coronavirus pandemic, my wife never made pizza. She actually didn’t cook all that much, but in fairness she has a very demanding, time-intensive job, so it’s unfair to think that home-cooked meals on a regular basis should come from her. They should actually come from her husband, but ovens—with all their knobs that turn on fire—make him anxious.

But with us stuck at home due to COVID-19, I’ve been the recipient of many a home-cooked meal by my better half, none better than homemade pizza that’s been perfecting over the past several weeks. She orders the pizza dough, seasonings and all the fixings online and as soon as they arrive, she whips out a pie that can rival any of the major pizza chains. It’s that good.

My wife’s pizza-making behavior is actually pretty common, according to the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2020 Food and Health Survey, which said as many as 85% of Americans made changes in the food they eat or how they prepare food because of the coronavirus pandemic. My wife, said the survey, is among the 60% of U.S. consumers who reported cooking at home more.

“Whether these particular impacts of the pandemic are only temporary remains to be seen,” said Joseph Clayton, president and chief executive officer of the IFIC. “But it’s hard to think of another recent event that has had such far-reaching effects, and in such a short period, on how we purchase, prepare and consume foods and beverages.”

Other findings from the survey:

One-in-three said they are snacking more, and a quarter said they are thinking about food more than usual.

Around 20% reported eating healthier than usual, eating more than usual and eating more pre-made meals from their pantry or freezer.

More than 40% of consumers under the age of 35 reported snacking more than normal, compared to 26% of consumers over the age of 50. Younger consumers also were more likely to report eating both more and less healthy foods during the pandemic.

Nevin Barich is the Consumer Products Analyst at Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. To arm yourself with the latest market intelligence, contact or call 310-553-0008 if you’re interested in receiving or sharing the IMPACT report with your colleagues or partners.

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