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A Q study on changes in food choices and consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic

Sophie Lankheit and Corinna Hempel

No 317055, 61st Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 22-24, 2021 from German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA)

Abstract: Through the application of a Q methodological approach, this study captures consumers’ viewpoints on grocery shopping, food preparation, and food consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns of public life that were implemented along with social distancing guidelines shifted consumption from outside to inside consumers’ homes and interrupted consumers’ routines. Various changes in consumer behavior occurred, such as hoarding, buying more local food, and preparing meals at home. Since there is still a lack of socio-economic research on factors influencing changes in consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study provides a basis for further research by analyzing consumers’ beliefs in a holistic manner. Four viewpoints on the changes in consumer behavior during the pandemic are identified, varying in their focus on food preparation, grocery shopping, the risk of infection, or conscious consumption. The findings suggest that the pandemic has changed the mindset of only some consumers towards more sustainable consumption practices, although it is often considered as a catalyst for sustainable behavior. To encourage further development in this respect, policies and marketing activities should be aimed at beliefs already held by consumers. Messages should thus be designed with the identified viewpoints in mind.

Keywords: Food Consumption / Nutrition / Food Safety; Marketing; Research Methods / Statistical Methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-11-18
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-mkt
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.317055

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