Americans are getting ready for new COVID-19 restrictions – and buying more packaged food

The number of Americans who say they’re preparing for new coronavirus restrictions is rising. Here's what they're buying.

The author(s)

  • Ben Meyerson Newsletter editor
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As the fall wave of the coronavirus shatters records, more Americans are preparing for restrictions that are rolling out across the country again, according to Ipsos’ Coronavirus Consumer Tracker. For many, that affects how they buy food.

More than a third of Americans – 36% – say they are either reacting to restrictions and establishing new routines, or actively preparing and stockpiling supplies.

More Americans are prepping

Americans who are most actively preparing are much more likely to say they are buying more packaged food than they were before the pandemic.

  • 47% of people in this group say they’re buying more canned food than before the pandemic, compared to only 30% of all Americans
  • 47% say they’re buying more snacks, compared to 37% of all Americans
  • 30% say they’re buying more microwave dinners, compared to 20% of all Americans
  • They’re also buying and drinking more than their peers: 33% say they’re drinking more store-bought alcohol than they did before the pandemic, compared to only 23% of all Americans.

Americans are buying more packaged food and alcohol

 

Regardless of whether people are actively preparing for lockdowns, one big trend holds true eight months into the pandemic: A majority of Americans (57%) say they are cooking more meals at home than they did before the pandemic. Only 5% say they are cooking at home less.

  • 32% say they are using food delivery services more, while 11% say they are ordering out less
  • Americans are more divided on fast food: 24% say they are eating it more, while 33% say they are eating it less.

 

The author(s)

  • Ben Meyerson Newsletter editor

Consumer & Shopper