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No lockdown in the kitchen: How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected food-related behaviours

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  • Klaus G. Grunert
  • Michiel De Bauw, KU Leuven
  • ,
  • Moira Dean, Queen's University Belfast
  • ,
  • Liisa Lähteenmäki
  • Dominika Maison, University of Warsaw
  • ,
  • Kyösti Pennanen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
  • ,
  • Mari A. Sandell, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Katarzyna Stasiuk, Jagiellonian University in Kraków
  • ,
  • Lisa Stickel
  • Amparo Tarrega, CSIC - Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology
  • ,
  • Annukka Vainio, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Liesbet Vranken, KU Leuven

The COVID-19 pandemic and especially the lockdowns coming with it have been a disruptive event also for food consumption. In order to study the impact of the pandemic on eating habits, self-reported changes in food-related behaviours were investigated in ten European countries by means of an online survey. A latent class cluster analysis distinguished five clusters and showed that different types of consumers can be distinguished based on how they react to the pandemic as regards their eating habits. While food-related behaviours were resilient for 60% of the sample, another 35% reported more enjoyment in cooking and eating, more time in the kitchen and more family meals. Among those, a slight majority also showed signs of more mindful eating, as indicated by more deliberate choices and increased consumption of healthy food, whereas a slight minority reported more consumption of indulgence food. Only 5% indicated less involvement with food. As the COVID-19 pandemic is a disruptive event, some of these changes may have habit-breaking properties and open up new opportunities and challenges for food policy and food industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110752
JournalFood Research International
IssuePart A
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Research areas

  • Consumer behaviour, COVID-19, Food choice, Habit disruption

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