Resilience effects in food consumption behaviour at the time of Covid-19: Perspectives from Italy

Valentina Carfora, Carla Cavallo, Giovanna Sacchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic lead Italy to undertake a severe lockdown for almost two months. All of a sudden, the lives of Italians were forced to shift in accordance with the regulations issued by government. This change in the lives of Italians can be mirrored by an adjustment in food consumer behaviour that, consequently, brought about a transition in the whole supply chain. This paper gives an overview of the recent changes in consumption patterns that occurred due to the Italian lockdown, and how evolutions in behaviour are intertwined with the evolution of the main food supply chains. Many of the events here depicted are likely to last far beyond the crisis and affect the subsequent evolution of food consumption in Italy. The Italian retail supply chain successfully adapted to the big shift in consumption. Despite purchases for essential items having increased, no stockout harmed the food security of Italians. Out-of-home consumption moved inside houses giving space to home meal preparation and comfort food. Home delivery has been the most important element in this context, as it boomed during this period, helping laggard consumers fill the digital divide, as it was mostly mediated by e-commerce platforms and instant messaging. It was also the leverage that allowed small retailers and small producers regain their space. This crisis calls for a more sustainable food system that will be increasingly oriented to moving goods rather than people, which will also have relevance in the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalHeliyon
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Agricultural economics
  • Agricultural science
  • COVID-19
  • Comfort effect
  • Consumer sensory research
  • Crisis food behaviour
  • Economics
  • Food science
  • Home meal preparation
  • Lockdown consumption
  • Qualitative research in food marketing
  • Shelter effect

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