According to a study released by the European consortium EIT Food, in which 5,000 people from 10 European countries have participated - Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, France, Greece, Finland, Romania and Spain - the Spanish are the citizens of the European Union who have changed their consumption habits the most due to the pandemic, especially when it comes to deliberate and conscious food choices. There has been a great increase in consumption in almost all food categories.
53% of the Spaniards surveyed acknowledged that they are more careful when planning purchases (the European average is 45%), compared to 4% who say they are less careful; and 35% in Spain say they tend to buy cheaper products (the EU average is 27%).
More health conscious
Spain ranks second, with 41% (after Romania, with 43%), among the countries that consider healthy eating more important after the pandemic. The study reveals that almost half of those surveyed (49%) say that protecting their health is now more important. Also, 35% buy more local products; and 87% are "very likely" to continue doing so in the future.
It is worth highlighting the fact that 46% of Spaniards check the packaging and expiration dates more (EU average is 36%), and that 37% of those surveyed in Spain consider that the proximity of food establishments is important (compared to 30% in the EU).
Additionally, 34% of consumers lost some or all of their income during the pandemic, making food affordability a key priority.
Some of the products that have registered the greatest increases are fruits, with 32%, and vegetables and legumes, with 27%.
More time in the kitchen, but also more snacks
Regarding consumption within the home, 36% of those surveyed say that they are spending more time cooking, compared to 13% who are cooking less. The segment of consumers between 18 and 35 years old is the one with the greatest increase (+43%).
There has also been a shift towards the consumption of snacks instead of pre-established meals (30%, compared to the 19% who are better organized).
Regarding consumption behavior once the pandemic is over, 27% of the people surveyed say that it is more important to have time to cook homemade meals and 30% want to eat more varied foods.