This research aims to explore changes in low-socioeconomic families' food practices, focusing on both
disruptions of established food practices and adoption of new food practices in response to COVID-19 (and its
restrictions). This will help to understand the health and sustainability implications of these changes. The
focus will be on families with primary school children as these families had major disruptions, such as
increased caring responsibilities, during the pandemic.
The research findings will enable us to suggest effective behavioural and social change initiatives (i.e.,
social marketing, education campaigns, policy implications) to foster healthy and sustainable eating for
vulnerable families. Through a qualitative, online ethnographic approach (which includes food diaries, photo
elicitation methods and semi-structured interviews) with 20 families in New Zealand and the U.K., we will
explore food consumption practices in response to and as a consequence of COVID-19 (i.e., job losses, use of
food banks). These findings will be used to provide recommendations to encourage healthy and sustainable
eating, identifying resources, skills, and services that could be offered by social marketers, community groups
and supported by the (local) government.
This research will be a pilot study and collect data from a small sample of families per country. After
completion we will use the findings to inform a larger project, which may focus on specific practices (e.g. we
may choose to focus on what families eat which inevitably will be linked to other practices, such as food
acquisition), on other food-related practices(e.g., food waste) and/or on the longer term (i.e., 5 years)
implications of COVID-19 on food related practices.