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In The News

COVID changes consumer attitudes

Western Producer, May 21, 2020

Consumer attitudes toward food are changing, in some cases rapidly, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ujwal Arkalgud, a cultural anthropologist and board member with the United States Center for Food Integrity, said consumers are becoming more interested in shortening food supply chains and reducing the distance food travels. Those attitudes are not yet considered mainstream, said Arkalgud, but are moving in that direction according to data collected from the U.S. and United Kingdom.

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Politics might play a role on who returns to restaurants

Meat + Poultry, May 12, 2020

John Dick, founder and chief executive officer of CivicScience, foresees three areas that will impact the rate that people will return to restaurants. They are consumer confidence; personal and physical proximity to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which includes knowing somebody who has the virus; and political tribalism, which includes what cable news network people watch. Tribalism might be the biggest factor, he said in a May 8 webinar organized by the Center for Food Integrity. Rural conservatives appear more likely to return to restaurants quicker than urban liberals, according to CivicScience data.

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High unemployment leads to people eating more staples, leftovers

Meat + Poultry, April 20, 2020

The loss of a job frequently means a cutback on the food budget in the household affected, and more US households are facing such a situation now. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck the US economy, more than 22 million people filed for unemployment in the United States in the four-week period ended April 11, according to the US Department of Labor. “People are running into that brick wall of budgetary constraints,” said Susan Schwallie, executive director of food and beverage consumption for the NPD Group, a market research and consumer insights company, in an April 17 webinar organized by the Center for Food Integrity.


COVID-19 may put sustainability concerns on the sideline

Food Business News, April 13, 2020
COVID-19 has had people stockpiling groceries and seeking contactless food deliveries. Perhaps less of a concern now is taking sustainability issues into account when making food purchases. “We are hearing about — more anecdotal than hard data at this point — consumers trading sustainability for safety and cost,” said Susan Schwallie, executive director of food and beverage consumption for the NPD Group, a market research and consumer insights company. “Some municipalities have said, ‘We’re not going to charge you for the plastic bags. We’re not going to let you use a reusable bag.’” Ms. Schwallie spoke in an April 10 webinar organized by the Center for Food Integrity, Gladstone, as did Kevin Ryan, PhD, founder of Malachite Strategy and Research, a consulting firm for consumer packaged goods and foodservice.