Covid’s lasting impact

Covid's lasting impact

Infographic courtesy of EIT Food

As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, more often than not we’re beginning to want to determine the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

Economically, the forecasts for GDP growth are being revised. On the other hand, the lasting impacts of lockdown on food purchasing and consumption are available.

A survey of 5,000 consumers by EIT Food across ten European countries identifies the way people shop.

Nearly half of consumers reporting an increase in online shopping (45%); bulk purchases (47%); and carefully planned shopping trips (45%).

Professor Klaus Grunert, head of section of the Department of Management at Aarhus University, said Covid-19 has changed the way people think about, purchase, plan and consume their food.

The silver lining during this pandemic is the rise of various positive trends, particularly around sustainability and health.

What’s interesting is the degree of adaptation consumers across Europe have undergone despite suffering financial hardship. 

European consumers reported buying more in almost every food category.

The largest behavioural shift saw nearly half of consumers reporting an increase in online shopping (45%); bulk purchases (47%); and carefully planned shopping trips (45%).

European consumers are also spending more time in the kitchen with over a third (36%) reporting that they have enjoyed spending time cooking during lockdown. 

How this will affect us post pandemic will mean food’s relationship evolving yet again. Nearly a third of consumers said food will be more important to have time to cook home-made meals (27%) and to continue eating more varied foods (30%) after the pandemic.

In addition to prioritising their own health, European consumers reported a number of changes that could have a positive impact on the health of the planet. 

The industry has a real opportunity to innovate to meet consumer needs following the survey’s findings. The generation of new experiences for consumers to enjoy food at home or tailor their online experience to different shopping environments will be key.

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One response to “Covid’s lasting impact”

  1. Adrienne McGuire says:

    I agree in that there is such vast potential for wide innovation now that the right technology has been put into any number of workplaces across the world. I find myself wondering how much of what we do will remain “virtual” and how much will go back to in-person experiences.

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