70% of Consumers Want Break From Social Distancing Meals

Fast Food (25%) and Frozen Pizza (22%) Top List of Foods People Want to Take a Break From, Survey Says

For many, the COVID-19 outbreak seemed like an understandable time to enjoy indulgent foods and plenty of snacking. But as states are reopening, many people are rethinking their habits with 70% of people wanting to take a break from certain foods when the quarantine is lifted, including fast food (25%), frozen pizza (22%) and even ice cream (16%), according to a survey conducted by Atkins.

While a third (33%) of people say their eating habits have become healthier during quarantine, staying home has wreaked havoc on the way many people eat. A fifth (20%) of people said their eating habits have become less healthy while in quarantine.

Unhealthy Eaters Look for Change
With close proximity to the kitchen, the survey shows that those who say their diets have gotten worse are wanting to return to a more normal eating routine (37% vs. 21% of healthy eaters) and they want to take a break from salty snacks like chips or crackers (29%) and fast food (29%). And while taking a break from certain foods, unhealthy eaters also want to cut out mindless eating (47%) once the quarantine ends. In addition, unhealthy eaters are more likely to start a new weight loss program (33%) compared to healthy eaters (18%).

“The past few months have been challenging with people staying at home all the time. It has caused people to indulge more or eat differently than they normally do, especially when so many people have continued access to the kitchen – especially if it has been converted into their office,” said Colette Heimowitz, Atkins VP Nutrition Communication and Education. “The good news is that it’s easy for everyone to make the right changes or get back on track to eating healthy and being active.”

Putting Nutrition in Focus
As people revise their lifestyle habits, they will buy and eat more foods that are low in sugar and carbohydrates (45%) and unprocessed (29%). Overall, 27% of people want to choose immunity boosting foods in the future. The survey shows that 23% of GenZers ranked immunity boosting as their top priority, while 29% of city/urban residents ranked it as the second most important factor (vs. 20% of suburban/rural residents).

Return to Restaurants
People definitely miss restaurants with 88% looking forward to going out post-COVID-19. Of those who want to go to restaurants, the cuisines that reign supreme are Mexican (18%), steakhouses (14%) and seafood (13%). Millennials stood out with their desired preference being Chinese food (17%).

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between May 6–11, 2020, among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, using an email invitation and an online survey. The data was weighted to ensure an accurate representation of adults ages 18+.

SOURCE Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.