Having experienced the evolution of nationwide measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic including sheltering-at-home, non-essential business closures, and an impacted economy, consumers are now turning their focus to making the most of the foods they stocked up on during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to food and beverage market research firm, The NPD Group Inc., 56 percent of U.S. consumers said that they are avoiding food waste and saving leftovers for future use. Another 43 percent of consumers say that they cook just enough food to avoid food waste.
Consumers reported that 63 percent of their eating occasions during the Covid-19 outbreak have been atypical, meaning they’re eating foods and beverages that are different from their normal routines, according to NPD’s NET Covid-19 Pantry & Food Strategy Tracker.
In addition to atypical eating behaviors, the vast majority of U.S. homes also reported that they now have five or more packages of the same item. While many of these items are shelf-stable and will last long, categories like fresh and refrigerated items made the list too.
One of the drivers of this food planning strategy is unemployment, reports NPD. Fifteen percent of consumer respondents reported that they were unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The initial response of stocking up enabled consumers to feel prepared to face whatever may come their way,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. “Avoiding food waste and saving leftovers is what consumers have historically done to manage food costs during economically challenging times.”