How Food Habits Can Change During Quarantine

In times of stress, many people turn to comfort food

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Have your food habits changed during the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you are not alone.

Food industry trackers show big changes in trends, that may or may not, surprise you.

Comfort foods that can be stored in your pantry or freezer are in high demand.

Industry experts said sales have soared for items like frozen veggies and pizza, to canned goods to even childhood favorites, like hot dogs.

In the meantime, a certain trend that was on the rise before the pandemic has fallen drastically.

"One of our favorite trends that has definitely stopped is the trend that we were in of 'sober curious' and mocktails and lower alcohol. That's out the window," said CEO of the food industry consultancy Culinary Tides Suzy Badaracco.

"That is a trend that is absolutely reversing and we are seeing numbers of alcohol sale and consumption spike," said Badaracco.

She said the market for comfort food and booze is tied to the fear and stress of both the coronavirus and its economic toll.

She predicts the trends to continue except for one change.

As worries over jobs and money mount, people will forgo their favorite brands, meal kits take out menus and choose the cheaper options.

"Cost is going to be the only thing they care about," said Badaracco.

What does this mean for our health and our waistline?

"While you can still enjoy some of your comfort food, look for ways you can add in those nutrients. At first, we were all trying to hold on but now, we know we are going to be here for a while, think, 'how do we use some of those foods that we stocked up on to maybe add some color and nutrients that we are cooking on a daily basis?'" said registered dietician Amy Goodson.

Badaracco said another trend that has died down is the meatless meat fad that was having its moment before the pandemic.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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