Citizen food behaviours – Dec 2020 to Jan 2021

Diverging evidence on the effect of the past nine months on UK citizen shopping, eating and cooking habits continues to emerge. A survey of 2,000 people by IGD undertaken last September and October found that more than three-quarters (83%) of consumers changed how they planned, purchased and prepared their food during the first national lockdown, with over half (51%) claiming to have eaten more fruit and vegetables

Meanwhile, to coincide with the launch of new tools as part of the government’s Better Health campaign, a survey of 5,000 adults by PHE found that since the pandemic began, 35% of people said they had snacked on ‘unhealthy food and drinks at least once a dayOther behaviours reported as part of the survey suggest that almost one third of smokers had smoked more since the second national lockdown, while 23% of drinkers said their alcohol intake had increased. This supports recent findings of Alcohol Change UK, who found that one in three Brits believes they drank in excess last year compared with 2019. A record number of people have signed up to ‘Dry January’ challenge, with 6.5 million people signing up to take part – a 67% rise compared to last year. 

The trend is similar elsewhere, with a study of over 1,100 Dutch adults finding that roughly a third reported eating and snacking more than usual during the pandemic, while up to 15.1% reported eating less, with those who had been in quarantine more likely to report that the pandemic had had a negative impact on their diet 

View our UK Food Tracker in full.