Technomic Global Foodservice Navigator

COVID-19’s impact on eating behaviors

Covid-19 has an impact on how the world eats.
Imago Images / IKON Images
Covid-19 has an impact on how the world eats.

Market researcher Technomic asked 8,700 consumers in 25 countries how COVID-19 changed their eating behavior. Here’s what they answered.

Cooking at Home Surged

Nearly 60 percent of consumers started cooking at home more in response to the virus. This is not surprising since lockdowns left people homebound and foodservice outlets were under restrictions. Chains, of course, aimed to tap into this with meal kits, bulk ingredients and frozen goods.

Which of the following have you done in response to the coronavirus?
Global Highest Lowest
Prepare food at home more often 58% 81%
Eat more healthy foods and beverages 35% 70%
Integrate more immune-boosting foods into my diet 27% 64%
Eat more comfort foods 25% 56%
South Korea
Eat more snacks 18% 33%
South Africa
Base: 8,700 consumers out of 25 countries.

Health & Wellness Spiked

Consumers started eating and drinking healthier due to the pandemic. They also sought out items with immune system benefits. Turning to healthier foods and drinks was likely a counter to the so-called "quarantine 15." And it’s little surprise people would want options they think might increase their chances of not getting sick (virus or otherwise). The latter is likely to stick around for awhile.

Comfort & Snacks Grew

Consumers ordered more comfort foods such as burgers and pizzas amid quarantine periods. A significant percent also turned to these foods more broadly—be it at a restaurant or at home. And nearly 20 percent started snacking more often—likely because disruption of daily life altered traditional mealtimes.