There’s nothing like the sight of empty supermarket shelves during a global pandemic to spark fears of food shortages. When news of coronavirus (Covid-19) grabbed the world’s attention earlier this year, anxious shoppers stripped bare the shelves of cupboard staples like pasta, rice, flour and tinned foods, as well as panic bought frozen goods.
At the same time as we saw uncertainty drive people to stockpile, causing shortages in supermarkets worldwide, countries around the globe announced periods of lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19, forcing restaurants, cafes, pubs and other food outlets to close.
As staying home became the new normal, consumer’s behaviour shifted towards online shopping and food deliveries. Looking at the UK specifically, British online supermarket Ocado highlighted a 52% rise in its sales during the period of June to August (2020) and recipe box firms reported an unprecedented spike in trade. With people eating three meals a day at home, demand for convenience, or ‘ready-made’, meals also increased.
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