Pandemic’s uneven gender impact reveals opportunities for product development

According to Murphy Research’s recently released first quarter State of our Health report​, while nearly all Americans stopped or dramatically reduced dining out during the peak of pandemic, only women actually cooked at home more. And, while there were desirable aspects, for the most part, women weren’t happy about it.

Sarah Marion, the cultural anthropologist who leads Murphy Research’s State of our Health report, explains that this insight could have an outsized impact on how food and beverage manufacturers innovate and market products going forward. For example, she explained, eating at home is expected to remain elevated even as pandemic restrictions ease, and many women will seek new solutions to help them reach a more sustainable and satisfying balance of healthy eating, saving time and variety. In this episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts podcast​, Marion also shares how else the pandemic change consumers approach to food and nutrition, and which of these trends are here to stay and which likely won’t last.

[Editor’s note: Never miss an episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts podcast – subscribe​ today.]

The gender divide

With the goal of better understanding health and wellness in America, Murphy Research’s State of our Health study is based on quantitative and qualitative data collected monthly online from 1,000 people 13 years and older since 2018.

From this massive data set, Murphy Research was able to compare historical behavior patterns to those during the peak pandemic to reveal some surprising insights – among them is that while all Americans stopped dining out as frequently during the pandemic and ate more meals at home – 67% of women reported they cooked at home five or six nights a week in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 60% of men.

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