Consumer food purchase behavior change heterogeneity and persistence from the COVID-19 pandemic

(with Mike Conlin, Katie Harris-Lagoudakis, Cara Haughey, and Hannah Wich)

In this paper, we use transaction data from a large grocery store retailer to describe changes in grocery shopping behavior throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyze both store- and household-level changes in the number of transactions, the amount of spending on groceries, and the purchase channel. We also study changes in the healthfulness of grocery transactions using three different healthfulness measures. Given the disproportionate effects of the pandemic, we look at how behavior changes vary by demographics such as race, age, and income. We find that in general, households increased their spending and decreased their number of transactions early in the pandemic, and households increased their reliance on online shopping during the pandemic. Further, we also find small changes to the overall healthfulness of grocery store purchases. However, households the degree to which households changed their behavior varied based on demographic characteristics.


Effectiveness of the updated Thrifty Food Plan and SNAP Benefits?

Understanding smokers' behavior to quit: Tobacco purchasing behavior response to stop selling cigarettes in-store.