• A quarter revealed they are eating less food to ration food

  • 1 in 3 binge eating more junk food than ever

  • A third learning to cook during lockdown

  • Shoppers spending 128% extra per week on groceries

The public’s food preferences are changing during the global pandemic according to new data from Self.inc.

To find out how food tastes had been altered by the pandemic, Self.inc surveyed 1,340 members of the public about their lives during COVID-19 to uncover how people are changing their habits to cope with this unique situation.

When asked about their food habits, 23% of those surveyed said they were now eating more plant-based meals due to lockdown, almost double the 11% who said they were eating more meat at this time.

Those aged 18-24 (29%) were the largest age group to engage with more plant-based foods during the pandemic, followed by those aged 55-64 (24%), both being higher than the national average.

Quarter now eating more vegan food due to coronavirusShena Jaramillo, registered dietician at Peace and Nutrition discussed the rise of vegan choices during the pandemic:

“I am seeing an uptick in consumers choosing plant based products during COVID-19 as these are the items that tend to be most shelf stable. For example, nuts, beans, rice, quinoa, are proteins that last longer than animal based products.”

1 in 3 (32%) revealed that they were eating more junk food due to quarantine measures, while 31% said they had taken this time to eat more healthy options.

Respondents were also asked if they were learning to cook or experimenting in the kitchen, 1 in 3 (33%) confirmed that they were.

While some are spending more time in the kitchen, a quarter of (27%) those polled said they are having to ration food during the pandemic by eating less than they normally would.

When asked about their grocery store habits, 67% of shoppers admitted to spending more on their weekly shopping. When questioned further about exactly how much money they were spending, the average person was found to be spending $69 extra a week on their grocery shopping.

This amounts to $147 a week on groceries, a 128% increase in costs compared to previous figures on 2018 household expenditures which showed the average American household spent $78 per week.

A quarter (24%) of respondents said they spend even higher, between $100-$200 extra a week on top of the existing average amount.

When asked about their shops of choice, 2 in 5 (39%) respondents stated they will be boycotting businesses that did not act responsibly during the pandemic, such action was recently seen with beauty brand, Sephora.

James Garvey, CEO, at Self.inc, had this to say on the results

“It’s promising to see that this economic uncertainty is not stopping people from spending more in the shops and experimenting in the kitchen with new ingredients. Even though stockpiling has reduced in its severity, a 128% increase in weekly grocery expenditure is unprecedented, grocery stores should be commended for their ability to cope under such demand.”

“Plant based foods are seeing an annual growth of over 11% according to recent studies, and with people having more time indoors, it’s no surprise that many are taking this time to craft new meals without animal products. As consumers change their eating habits, innovation will always follow and we look forward to seeing how purchasing decisions continue to change once the pandemic is over.”

Please see full analysis here: https://www.self.inc/info/coronavirus-spending-habits-statistics/

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Self is a leading fintech startup with a mission to help people build credit and savings. For more information, visit www.self.inc.

Graphics included in our analysis are free to use with appropriate credit back to the study page please find images for download in this Google Drive folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1dlFX8Gih6V3QrK-S8VY3JeNzaLrobWG8?usp=sharing

Further questions on personal finance and employment were also asked, results for this can be seen in the study page.

METHODOLOGY

Self.inc surveyed 1,340 people across all age groups, 60% were female and 40% male. The age breakdown of respondents was as follows:

  • 18-24 (15.8%)

  • 25-34 (34.9%)

  • 35-44 (24.6%)

  • 45-54 (12.7%)

  • 55-64 (8.1%)

  • 65+ (4.0%)

The survey was conducted using Amazon’s survey platform on the 10th-14th April collecting responses across five days.

For more information please contact: darren.kingman@self.inc