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  • How are people turning to their nostalgic favourites?
  • How are people turning to their nostalgic favourites?
    Karolina Grabowska (2020) ©

How stress is changing American tastebuds

During the pandemic, people are turning to food for comfort and stress relief. We’re seeing a return to nostalgic favorites and also food as a medium for experience and discovery. So what does that mean for flavor?

Location United States

Many Americans will have temporarily experienced the strangeness of anosmia, the loss of smell and taste, when they had COVID-19. However, even healthy consumers’ tastebuds have been impacted by the effects of the pandemic. To cope with uncertainty and stress, beloved comfort foodstuffs and flavors have been the go-to – 79% of US consumers are buying more comfort food since the pandemic began, while 90% have bought chocolate in the last 3 months. [1] Anthropologist and author Dr. Kaori O’Connor has seen “an increased consumption of sweet things across all age groups,” pointing out that while main ...



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