Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on eating patterns and behaviours inside the home in Scotland

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This report summarises insights into the impact of COVID-19 on eating behaviours inside the home in Scotland in 2020. This data was provided by Kantar, a market research company who collect information on how often food and drink is consumed at home, alongside information such as when, where and why.

The data refers to food and drink consumed inside the home and includes any take-aways which are delivered direct to the home.

Key findings

  • After the first national lockdown in 2020, the number of eating occasions at home increased by 23% compared to the same weeks in 2019.
  • Over the same time period, the number of eating out occasions reduced by  48% and the number of meals we ‘carried out’ reduced by 58%.
  • Consumption of snacks also increased, particularly by families. Drinks, followed by fruit, accounted for the greatest share of snack occasions during this time.
  • The consumption of alcoholic drinks also increased after the first national lockdown was announced, peaking at 34 million occasions in May 2020.
  • In 2020, 71% of eating occasions inside the home were driven by taste whereas only 16% were driven by potential benefits to health.
  • Compared to 2019, levels of scratch cooking among families and households under the age of 45 years with no children declined in after the first national lockdown was announced in March 2020.

This report complements and adds to existing FSS data on monitoring trends in food consumption and dietary intake in both retail and OOH settings. This data informs future dietary monitoring work and policy development, but also how FSS continue to develop public health communications and dietary messaging.