After the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, its devastating effects began to be closely monitored all over the world. The new order that emerged due to the fight against the virus soon began to affect all our habits and behaviours. The fact that food consumption is vital for human well-being makes this an important area to investigate in terms of the impact of COVID-19. This research was carried out to investigate the changes in consumers' food consumption behaviour and habits during the COVID-19 pandemic and determine the factors that explain these changes.
In line with the recommendations for social distancing under pandemic conditions, the empirical data were collected via computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). The participants were 1,023 individuals living in the major cities of the seven regions of Turkey. An ordered probit regression model was used to estimate the attitudes related to the changes in food consumption behaviour and habits, and descriptive statistics are provided to show the current food consumption and purchase situation.
The results showed that the changes in food consumption behaviour and habits due to the pandemic were related to price increase concerns, stockpiling, awareness of food waste, safety and excessive, food access concerns, natural/organic food preferences and packaging of foods. Moreover, the participants tended to prepare food at home and preferred food that was popular with other consumers. Consumers mainly bought food from discount stores and local grocery stores and consumed fresh vegetables and fruits, animal-based products, cereals and pulses.
The current study contributes to knowledge regarding the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on food consumption behaviour by using a predictive model and provides behavioural estimations by using a countrywide questionnaire. The results show that the pandemic affects food consumption routines and food perspective of consumers in various ways.
Güney, O.I. and Sangün, L. (2021), "How COVID-19 affects individuals' food consumption behaviour: a consumer survey on attitudes and habits in Turkey", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 7, pp. 2307-2320. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2020-0949
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