Research report

Covid-19 Consumer Tracker wave 1

3 documents for this subject


FSS has undertaken this consumer study to monitor attitudes, knowledge and reported behaviours relating to food specifically during the Covid-19 period. This is Wave 1, conducted in May 2020 which will then be followed by Waves 2 and 3 in June and July 2020 respectively.  The survey draws from a representative sample of Scotland’s population and is being done in conjunction with the FSA who are covering the rest of the UK with the same questions.

Key findings from Wave 1 broadly align with other published sources and are as follows:

  • 25% of people are either very worried or somewhat worried about their household not being able to afford food in the next month
    • This is most prevalent in households with children
  • Compared to the period before lockdown, 15% of people have purchased food from a takeaway more than before with 38% of people doing so less
  • The main reason for buying food from a take-away less often is lack of availability for 38% of people, with 14% of people saying it due to them cooking more at home.
  • Compared to the period before lockdown, 24% of people have purchased food from a local supplier more than before
  • 13% of households with children have arranged for food to be delivered to their house through a food charity or food bank in the last month (significantly higher than the total of households which is at 6%). 
  • 28% of people/people in their families have eaten cooked meats past their “use by” dates in the last month
  • 40% of people have cooked from scratch more often in the last month
  • 29% of people have eaten healthy meals more often in the last month, but;
  • 44% of people have snacked on cakes/biscuits/confectionary and savoury snacks more in the last month
  • 39% of people have thrown away less food in the last month, with 28% of people cooking to freeze food for later
  • 28% of people have either always/most of the time washed raw chicken

Advice from Scottish Government: Individuals who are unable to access or afford food and cannot get the help they need from family, friends, neighbours or readily accessible offerings from retailers are encouraged to call the national assistance helpline. The free helpline number is 0800 111 4000, or can be contacted via a textphone on 0800 111 4114. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. Further information on the range of help and support available for individuals to access food and essentials can be found on

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