Rice and Bean Consumption in Brazil During COVID-19 Pandemic
Alcido Elenor Wander1, Cleyzer Adrian Cunha2
1Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Brazil
Rice and beans are important staples for food security and nutrition in Brazil. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions to economic activities, food prices increased and income of socially vulnerable groups decreased. Thus, the objective of this study was to follow the behaviour of the Brazilian consumer of rice and beans during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, an online survey was carried out with 328 consumers from different Brazilian states between November 2020 and January 2021. Information was raised regarding the consumption of rice and beans during the pandemic. The data were submitted to frequency analysis, descriptive statistics, and mean tests. The main results were (a) that during the pandemic in 2020 there were no major difficulties in finding rice and beans to purchase; (b) that the amount of rice and beans consumed in households is equivalent to the pre-pandemic period; (c) that the main reasons for the increase in the prices of rice and beans are related to high demand, increased exports and inelastic supply in the short term; (d) that the most consumed products form polished or white rice, carioca beans, and black beans; (e) that price and brand, in this order, are the main criteria for purchasing rice and beans; (f) that the emergency aid paid by the Federal Government in 2020 did not change the consumption habits of rice and beans; and (g) that the majority of consumers interviewed intend to maintain rice and beans consumption habits in the post-pandemic. Overall, only minor changes in consumption pattern of rice and bean during the pandemic were observed.
Keywords: Consumption habits, demand, household consumption, public policy, supply
Contact Address: Alcido Elenor Wander, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Rodovia GO-462, km 12, 75375-000 Santo Antonio de Goias, Brazil, e-mail: alcido.wanderembrapa.br