Our relationship with food and drink has changed drastically since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, according to new research by Waitrose & Partners.
In its annual food report, which takes a deep-dive into key trends from the last 12 months, the retailer revealed that every aspect of how we shop, cook and eat has been impacted by the crisis.
Of the people surveyed who spent the majority of the year working from home, almost three quarters (74%) said that cooking dinner now replaces their commute, providing them with a break between ‘working time’ and ‘home time’.
And to separate weekdays from weekends (when, let’s face it, there were few other opportunities to do so), many people switched up their cooking repertoires on Saturdays and Sundays – 70% of people said they now tried harder to make different meals at weekends.
In addition, working from home and going without that daily Pret coffee has turned many of us into budding baristas, with 59% of people saying they spend more effort making coffee when on a break from work.
‘Preparing something to eat has taken on particular significance among young professionals, three-quarters of whom say the ritual has become more important to them,’ notes the report.
‘People are also talking about food more: six in ten of us say food has become more of a regular topic of conversation, either in person or on video calls.’
The way we shop has changed, too – 25% of us shopped for food online for the first time this year. Anything to avoid those queues outside the supermarket, right?
And in a year that saw shortages of many supermarket staples thanks to panic-buying, 77% of respondents said they have been trying not to waste food during the pandemic.
There’s also been a shift in terms of how we value food – 57% of us value it more than we did before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, 70% of us value the role of supermarket workers more than we did at the start of 2020.
One thing is for certain, according to Waitrose & Partners – these changes are here to stay.
‘The “new normal” that we all spoke about back in the spring isn’t new anymore. It’s just normal,’ said James Bailey, the retailer’s executive director.
‘Call it a pivot, a new dawn, or a fresh start, but one thing is clear: things will never be the same again.’
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