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5 ways restaurant consumer trends are shifting during the coronavirus pandemic

According to The NPD Group, consumers now tend toward foods that are accessible, offer comfort or stress relief

With the coronavirus pandemic necessitating continued and ever-changing dine-in closures and pared-down restaurant menus, consumers’ eating habits are a little different in these anything-but-typical times.

People’s pre-virus rhythms have clearly been disrupted,” said David Portalatin, The NPD Group’s national food and beverage analyst.

According to NPD, consumers reported in July that 63% of their eating occasions during the COVID-19 outbreak have been atypical, meaning they’re eating and sourcing foods and beverages outside of their normal routines.

The big picture? Consumers are attracted to restaurant foods that are accessible and that offer comfort or stress relief amid uncertain times.

Some are eating different foods than before. Some are choosing off-premise options, whereas before they may have preferred to dine in. Still others are shifting the time of day they prefer to eat out, with a surprising daypart performing best in the second quarter.

Click through to see five ways consumers are eating now.

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