Dr. Laura Laguna Cruañes and Dr. Amparo Tárrega Guillem (Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos)

What videos do people watch about COVID19? What do they look for on the Internet? And what do they share on Twitter? What information sources do they trust? Do you think your eating habits changed during lock-down? Why?

At the IATA_CSIC in collaboration with the UPM, we have analysed searches made on the Internet and YouTube worldwide from January 2020 to April 2020. This is how we know that people were initially looking up what COVID19 is, and how the disease develops and spreads. After the official declaration of the pandemic, searches turned to food purchases and storage. Twitter (March and April) also reflected a steady trend, starting with concerns about buying and storing food, and progressing to feelings of uncertainty due to the oncoming crisis.

Furthermore, during the strict lock-down in Spain (from March 30 to April 14) we carried out a survey of 362 consumers online and learned that they bought more of some products for health reasons (vegetables and pasta) and others for mood improvement (nuts, cheese and chocolates). However, other products were bought less because they had a short shelf life (fish, seafood) or because they were perceived as unhealthy (sweet bakery products) or thought to contribute to feeling down (desserts).

Although people stated that scientists and experts were the most reliable source of information, when searching and watching videos, scientists were not the most popular.

If you would like further details, look for our ARTICLE:

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on food priorities. Results from a preliminary study using social media and an online survey with Spanish consumers

Laguna, S. Fiszman, P. Puerta, C. Chaya, A. Tárrega

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329320302974

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