Purchase and consumption behaviour of German consumers before and during the Covid-19 pandemic

How have buying behaviour and eating habits of German consumers changed during the current Covid-19 pandemic?

In the study conducted jointly by LI FOOD – Landesinitiative Ernährungswirtschaft and the DIL German Institute of Food Technologies, more than one thousand consumers throughout Germany were asked at the end of April about their eating, buying and cooking behaviour. The preliminary results of this study will soon be supplemented by a discussion paper of the DIL. 

The study was conducted by Dr. Adriano Profeta, head of the consumer research group, and scientific assistant Kai Kläver. Dr. Adriano Profeta commented: "The study provides first indications that the Covid-19 pandemic has a significant impact on the purchase and consumption behaviour. From a socio-political point of view, positive as well as negative effects can be observed".

It should be emphasized that about one third of the respondents spend more time on planning meals and shopping lists and thus also shopping itself in advance. In addition, 33 percent of those surveyed stated that they spend more money on food. All in all, an increase in the general importance of food can be seen among about a quarter of German consumers.

Regarding the issue of sustainability, however, it should be noted that the data do not show any shift in demand towards ecologically or regionally produced food. A significant change is that about a quarter of all respondents throw away less food. In addition, 38 percent of them stated that they would like to maintain this change in behaviour in the future. It can therefore be concluded that around 10 percent of the total population intends to reduce food waste even after the end of the pandemic.

The result also indicates that in the medium to long term, possible health consequences due to the corona pandemic and the associated increased caloric intake are to be expected.

The present study is being carried out together with renowned universities and research institutes worldwide.