Food purchase and eating behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey of Russian adults

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The Russian government took strong containment measures to prevent the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with rigid hygiene protocols and restrictions on daily living, such as social distancing and closing businesses and schools. While these measures were crucial to stop the diffusion of SARSCoV- 2, numerous voices highlighted their disorderly psychological, social, and economic impacts on food consumption behavior and lifestyle. Therefore, this paper aims to understand how consumers’ food-related habits in Russia have shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential problems and opportunities this might bring for the Russian food system. The study is based on an online cross-sectional survey using a structured questionnaire administered in Russian through the Survey Monkey platform. A total of 1297 valid answers was collected. The results reveal that diet and food shopping, preparation, and use have been widely affected. Indeed, the survey results suggested (i) a change in the modality of acquiring food, consumers reduced the number of shopping trips and buying more on each trip to minimize store visits; (ii) a surge of stockpiling of non-perishable food items; (iii) a shift toward healthier diets; (iv) an increase in culinary capabilities; (v) a decrease of food waste. The results are expected to inform current emergency plans as well as long-term food-related strategies in Russia.
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COVID-19 Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Eating behavior Diet Food purchases Food waste Russia