By: Allison Febrey, Specialist, FMI Foundation
Trends COVID Inforgraphic

On day twenty-five of home-sheltering, I attempted to make a caramelized onion-mushroom tart. I went off-script and did not use a recipe—I had onions and mushrooms and thought they’d make a nice tart together. My attempt at improvising was a mess. I burnt the onions and failed to make anything resembling tart dough. Luckily, my husband and I had leftovers that we could eat for a family meal together. Making a family meal at home happen during a pandemic has challenges at various levels— including the actual execution of the meal—but at least the “at home” part is decidedly taken care of.

Changes to How Consumers Eat

I am not alone in changing how I eat right now. According to the U.S. Grocery Shoppers Trends COVID-19 Tracker survey, 76% of consumers have changed how they eat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While I do not always plan my meals, 27% of consumers are planning more meals in advance these days. Some consumers (20%), myself included, are trying new dishes more often. I can only hope others are having more success with their kitchen experiments than I did with my tart.

Changes to How Consumers Cook

When cooking, consumers’ top priorities include using perishable foods before they go bad (44%) and minimizing waste (37%). For me, cooking is the most exciting part of my day—its tangible outcome results in sustaining food. But there are other rewards to it that others and I experience, such as having something interesting (36%) and having something comforting to eat (33%).

More Family Meals

As can be expected through home-sheltering, our family’s cooking has increased dramatically. We are not alone—41% of shoppers are cooking more meals. While it is easy to feel alone right now, we know that our mealtime together improves our family connectedness. Finding a comforting constant during this time feels like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands but sharing meals together—in person or virtually—provides some stability and connection.

The following evening, I attempted the tart again. It came out looking more like pizza but tasted delicious. All in all, a successful family meal.

To learn more about the consumer experience during this period of COVIUD-19 home sheltering, visit our U.S. Grocery Shoppers Trends COVID-19 Tracker and join us for a webinar on May 7th. FMI will be continuing to track consumer attitudes and perceptions over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more insights from the shoppers’ perspective.

Family Meals COVID tips