Study: Consumers Seek Out Comfort Food

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Study: Consumers Seek Out Comfort Food

By Anna Wolfe - 09/24/2020

A new poll of 2,000 Americans found that two in three are reverting to childhood food favorites and eating more comfort food during the pandemic. That includes an uptick in such favorites as pizza (55%), hamburgers (48%), ice cream (46%), French fries (45%), mac and cheese (38%), spaghetti and meatballs (32%) and others.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Farm Rich, looks at the eating habits of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic and discovered that the average person is enjoying comfort meals at least five times a week and snacks six times a week in 2020.

  • 90% say their online and social searches for food inspiration have increased during the pandemic.
  • Nearly half (49%) of those aged 26-41 have posted a picture of a meal on social media while in lockdown, with men sharing two times as much as women.
  • 69% say they'll continue to enjoy the same amount of comfort food that they are now, post-pandemic.
  • 85% have gained weight, an extra six pounds on average.
  • The comfort food meal everyone is most looking forward to enjoying at a restaurant post-pandemic is steak.

More Family Time

Two-thirds of respondents reveal they've been spending more time eating meals together  since March, with seven in 10 saying they'll genuinely miss all the time they got to gather around the family table.

Roughly 30 more minutes are spent each day cooking in the kitchen compared to the same time last year. It's Millennials who are spending most on comfort food items from the store — averaging $71 a week.

When asked what they'd rather give up for a year, 67% would rather give up alcohol instead of their favorite comfort food dish, and 67% would also give up social media over having to be without their go-to indulgent dish for a year. 

"Food is a common denominator in what gives us comfort during these stressful times, and this survey throws a spotlight on the changing American table in 2020, and how these types of foods are having a positive impact on our lives right now," Womack adds.

The Farm Rich-sponsored survey was conducted in July 2020 with a sample of 2,000 Americans ages 18-55+.

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