Better dead than vegan: The foods panic buyers ignore even during a viral pandemic
As the Covid-19 coronavirus spread exponentially throughout the world this month, political leaders advised the public not to stockpile food. Supply lines, they said, would hold, and shortages would be quickly rectified.
Shoppers didn’t listen. Panic buying set in, and reports of fights, looting, and hoarding emanated from virtually every affected country. However, not even the imminent threat of infection and lockdown could move some products from the shelves.
As Italy recorded its first spike of cases – passing 400 infections and 12 deaths just one month ago – panic buyers grabbed all the pasta they could. All of it, that is, except the smooth-surfaced Penne Lisce. Evidently, a prolonged lockdown would be unbearable if the sauce didn’t stick to the pasta just right.
Breaking #coronavirus News from Italy:Supermarket shelves are emptying out as panic buying sets inBut Italians have still not reached the point where they buy "Penne Lisce"#Covid_19#covid_19italiaNote the own-brand supermarket pasta to the left which no one wants either pic.twitter.com/qa3gjjZZ1K— David Morrison (@davidmrsn) February 27, 2020
Weeks later, as the death toll in Italy soared into the thousands and other countries started seeing a serious uptick in their caseloads, hundreds of similar scenes were reported in the UK and US. Plant-based hot dogs, it turns out, are the ultimate in fair-weather food.
The people have spoken and it is a resounding “Hell No!” We would rather starve in a pandemic before eating plant-based meat! pic.twitter.com/FFYvRyW4px— Jesse Pritchard (@HoosTurf) March 20, 2020
Regular old fruits and vegetables were snapped up all across the UK, but a snapshot from one Tesco outlet suggests that brussels sprouts are despised all year round, not just at Christmas.
Eat your sprouts, people. pic.twitter.com/GDtGiIgxCj— ✨ Mallika Basu ✨ (@MallikaBasu_) March 18, 2020
With the global economy in a tailspin and well over a billion people worldwide under lockdown, perhaps retailers and food manufacturers can use this opportunity to conduct some free market research? Among all the sweeping societal changes Covid-19 ushers in, perhaps the deadly virus will finally consign chocolate hummus to the dustbin of history.
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