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COVID‐19 and the Demand for Online Food Shopping Services: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan

Hung-Hao Chang () and Chad D. Meyerhoefer

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2021, vol. 103, issue 2, 448-465

Abstract: We investigate how the coronavirus pandemic affected the demand for online food shopping services using data from the largest agri‐food e‐commerce platform in Taiwan. We find that an additional confirmed case of COVID‐19 increased sales by 5.7% and the number of customers by 4.9%. The demand for grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, and frozen foods increased the most, which benefited small farms over agribusinesses. The variety of products sold on the e‐commerce platform also increased during the pandemic, which suggests the concentration of sales on niche products could increase as more consumers are drawn to online platforms. Our investigation of mechanisms for the shift to online food shopping indicates that sales were highly responsive to COVID‐19 media coverage and online content.

Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:wly:ajagec:v:103:y:2021:i:2:p:448-465