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Grocery Shopping Preferences during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Division of Applied Social Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5369;
Received: 17 June 2020 / Revised: 25 June 2020 / Accepted: 30 June 2020 / Published: 2 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Consumer Behavior Patterns Change in a Pandemic Condition)
Considering the temporary closure of many food-away-from-home establishments, consumer expenditure on groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased. While grocery shopping is an essential activity, not much is known about the dynamic relationship of the COVID-19 pandemic to the behavior of grocery shoppers. With an objective to inform variability in the behavior of grocery shoppers under various scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted an online framed choice experiment to elicit preferences for purchasing methods, time windows, minimum order requirements, and fees. The manipulating factor relates to the trend in the COVID-19 pandemic, where we consider three scenarios: an increasing, decreasing, or constant number of new cases in the past two-week period. Using 32,400 choice decisions from a representative sample of 900 grocery shoppers in the United States, we conclude that the trend in the COVID-19 pandemic causes significant differences in grocery shopping preferences. In situations where COVID-19 is spreading at an increasing rate, consumers are generally less willing to shop inside the grocery store. When COVID-19 is spreading at a decreasing rate, the relative importance of the purchasing method attribute is lower in its entirety. We use our findings to inform recommendations for practitioners and policymakers. View Full-Text
Keywords: consumer behavior; coronavirus; COVID-19; food consumption; online shopping; choice experiment consumer behavior; coronavirus; COVID-19; food consumption; online shopping; choice experiment
MDPI and ACS Style

Grashuis, J.; Skevas, T.; Segovia, M.S. Grocery Shopping Preferences during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5369.

AMA Style

Grashuis J, Skevas T, Segovia MS. Grocery Shopping Preferences during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability. 2020; 12(13):5369.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Grashuis, Jasper, Theodoros Skevas, and Michelle S. Segovia. 2020. "Grocery Shopping Preferences during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Sustainability 12, no. 13: 5369.

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