Stocking Up and Stocking Out: Food Retail Stock-Outs, Consumer Demand, and Prices During the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020

With the supply chain problems recently plaguing the infant formula industry, policymakers have been tracking sales and availability of this food item that is critical to infant health and nutrition. A new study documents that stock-outs of infant formula appeared to increase in 2020 following the onset of the pandemic.

Higher Retail Meat Prices Reduced Household Economic Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 6, 2022 Xiao Dong, USDA ERS

Retail meat prices rose almost 7 percent in 2020 as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed the economic landscape in the United States. Meatpacking plants were forced to close temporarily during spring and summer of 2020 when workers tested positive for COVID-19, while other plants had to reduce capacity. This disruption led to a drop in U.S. meat production and increased meat prices for U.S households. At the same time, restaurant restrictions put in place during the pandemic shifted consumer purchasing patterns toward more food at home, leading to an increase in the amount of meat households bought from grocery stores.

Can the Foodservice Distribution Industry Recover from the Pandemic?

July 19, 2022 Harvard Business Review

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, US Foods struggled, as restaurant and school closures reduced demand for foodservice distribution.

COVID-19 Economic Implications for Agriculture, Food, and Rural America: Food and Consumers

July 12, 2022 USDA ERS

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to significant changes in U.S. consumers’ food spending patterns in early 2020, with a return to pre-pandemic spending patterns that continued through 2021. While closures of restaurants and nonessential businesses contributed to record unemployment increases during March and April 2020, unemployment fell to below pre-pandemic levels by December 2021. Although income and employment improved, some U.S. households continue to face difficulties obtaining adequate food, particularly in the face of increasing food prices.

Pandemic Gave Yogurt Consumption a Needed Boost

June 28, 2022 Freedonia Group 

As consumers ate more meals at home, they also purchased more yogurt, including trying new brands and formats. Interest in yogurt as both a healthy snack and a better-for-you dessert rose, driving numerous introductions of innovative yogurt styles and flavor profiles, many premium items.