The Pandemic’s Effect on Our Habits

While nightclubs and our social lives may be struggling to survive the pandemic, it is undeniable that takeaways have thrived. In between Netlfix bingeing and banana bread baking, during lockdown we have all had our fair share of takeaways, in an attempt to taste a memory of our old lives.  

Just Eat and Just East for Business have revealed just how our takeaway ordering habits changed over lockdown. Did the UK eat more healthily in between their daily runs and Chloe Ting challenges? Or did we binge on food, in an attempt to fill the empty void of loneliness.  

It will come as no shock to hear that sales of alcohol increased by 36%. Pub closures meant Brits, classically, had to improvise, with many takeaway venues adding alcohol products to their menus. Ensuring you have a beer with your favourite takeaway has become even easier. 

Image credit: City Pantry and Just Eat

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues post-Covid. With a lack of structure and diminished responsibility over lockdown, it became more acceptable to drink on a frequent basis. With a return to university, it is worrying to see how students’ relationships with alcohol may change. With no clubs to go to, drinking in the house could normalise an increased alcohol consumption.  

On a positive note, the sale of vegan/vegetarian orders went up by almost a third. The number of plant-based takeaways have risen by a similar amount. The reason for this increase is unclear; perhaps people were more health conscious, or were thinking about the environmental benefits of eating fewer meat and dairy products?  Above all, perhaps the rumours that coronavirus stemmed from the consumption of a bat has put people off meat? However, not every part of the UK was onboard with the veggie options, as they dipped by 10% in the Midlands and 7% in Scotland compared to before lockdown. 

Many people found comfort in enjoying sweet treats, with dessert sales increasing. Considering the obesity epidemic in the UK, along with the public being encouraged to ‘eat out to help out’, are the government doing enough to consider the nation’s health? 

Brits are now spending on average 10% more on takeaway orders than before lockdown. It is interesting to note, however, that searches for discount codes have risen by 23%. Despite spending more, it is interesting that people are still money conscious, possibly due to threatened job losses and reduced ‘furlough’ pay over lockdown.  

Have we all gotten that bit greedier, sitting at home with little to do other than plan our next meal? Or is our change in eating habits more to do with convenience? As many people worked from home, they possibly felt too drained to cook in the same kitchen they had been busy working in all day.  

In such unusual times, it is interesting to see how people’s approach to something so simple as a takeaway is changing. Above all, perhaps takeaways, for many people, represent a normality everyone used to take for granted; they want that small taste of normality back.  

Please check out the inspiration for this article from Just East for Business:

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