In a pandemic, we buy what we know - Mary L. Thompson

In the pandemic, consumers sought exert gain control through comfort food and health food. While the panic of the early pandemic has abated, it remains to be seen how innovative food offerings and new brands fare during different types of unrest — continued covid variants, global unrest and inflation to name a few disrupters.

Will consumers still stick to known products offering either comfort or health or will they become more open to experimentation?

Mary L. Thompson


Experts have predicted that the pandemic would lead to seemingly-contradictory surges in sales for both health food and junk food. What’s at the root of this apparent paradox? New research suggests that the presence of a contagious disease elicits powerful emotions of fear and disgust, which push consumers towards more familiar food options — whether that’s a kale salad or a Big Mac. In this piece, the authors describe how this effect has driven purchasing behavior trends during the pandemic, as well as the implications of these trends for how consumer businesses should think about marketing and product strategy decisions right now.
Please read below the HBR article.



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