It seems that during lockdown people are eating healthier, cooking more, and upping their intake of fruit and vegetables.
“Consumption of salty, fat and sweet products usually goes up when people are under stress, but during the pandemic this heightened craving has been fulfilled in many countries with home-baked delicacies,” said Charlotte De Backer, chairman of FOOMS, a research group on food and media at University of Antwerp, Belgium.
The Corona Cooking Survey covered 11,000 people in 11 countries, with consumers reporting fewer purchases of microwave-prepared foods, and fewer purchases of sweet and salty snacks. Furthermore, the act of cooking in their kitchens has become more of a habit as workers are banished from their office buildings and spend more time at home.
The good news, De Backer told Reuters, is that some of these eating habits are likely to outlast the pandemic, because in many countries lockdowns lasted longer than the six weeks it takes to form a new habit.
The thousands of people who took the survey in Belgium reported that they had reduced stress and frustration about cooking, as well as feeling bolder and more creative in the kitchen post-COVID-19. Time preference was also changed, with people feeling that cooking didn’t require an intolerable amount of effort anymore.
Personal nutrition has apparently improved, as the purchase of fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and fruit across all countries went up. Also notable is the fact that people say they are wasting less food, eating more leftovers, and planning meals in advance.