New report reveals how our attitudes and daily rituals have been fundamentally reshaped

4 December 2020

The way we shop, eat and live have all permanently shifted

  • Cooking is the new commute, with 74% of those now working at home saying cooking provides a break between their ‘work time’ and ‘home time’
  • Nearly 30% of car-owners have reduced – or plan to reduce – cars in their household, as localism leads the way
  • A quarter of us shopped online for food for the first time this year, and one in 10 of us now shop for food only once a fortnight - with 60% of us saying changes to our shopping habits will stick
  • More than half us us value food more than we did pre-Covid, 70% of us value the role of supermarket workers more than we did, and 55% say our spending habits have changed for good
  • Over half say the pandemic has acted as a ‘reset button’ on our busy lives, with 58% us saying we’ve secretly enjoyed the lack of pressure to go out 
  • Meanwhile, winter BBQs, foraging, ‘tornado omelettes’ and spritzers are among the year’s hottest food and drink trends

Released today (4 Dec), the Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2021 is based on wide-ranging new OnePoll research of 2000 people across Britain - not just Waitrose shoppers. Research is supported by insights from Waitrose food, drink and retail experts, as well as from Waitrose shoppers. It is backed up with sales data from millions of purchases on Waitrose shops and online from throughout the year. 

Says James Bailey, Executive Director, Waitrose: “Our daily rituals, our attitudes towards supermarkets and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic. These changes are here to stay. The ‘new normal’ that we all spoke about back in the spring isn’t new anymore. It’s just normal.”

Other findings include:

  • Nearly three quarters of people want to see more food businesses in the UK express their ongoing support for local British producers, and 61% worry there will be a rise in factory farmed meat coming into the UK if standards are not safeguarded (‘future of British farming’)
  • More than half of us have been more carefully planning meals during the pandemic and intend to carry on (‘cooking is the new commute’)
  • Nearly half of us have gone entirely cashless during the pandemic and intend to carry on (‘shopping - an online surge’)
  • Almost 70% of us feel there’s more of a need to keep up our mental and physical stamina now than before the pandemic (‘health - the personal reset’)
  • Almost 40% of us believe we’ve become more tech-savvy over this year, and half of us took part in regular family catch-ups over lockdown, with 72% saying we’ll carry on (‘a new appreciation’)
  • Nearly two thirds of us who got involved with our local communities over lockdown plan to continue (community - the return of local living)
  • Almost half (43%) of 25-34 year-old car owning households plan to reduce the number of cars they run (‘farewell to the car?’) 

Sherry is a surprise retro drinks trend, while many have discovered the fun of foraging (‘which trends are going up’, and ‘what have we been drinking’)


  • The Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2021 is released on Friday 4th December 2020.
  • OnePoll research for Waitrose is 2000 people across Britain, nationally representative.  Supported by insight from Waitrose experts, Waitrose shoppers, and insight from millions of purchases in Waitrose shops and​

Please contact us for images, more information or interviews.

About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 78,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For all intents and purposes, the Partnership is a social enterprise; the profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis & Partners operates 42 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as Waitrose & Partners has 335 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has 13 shops which operate under licence in the UAE. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers.


Waitrose & Partners

Jessamy Hughes

Partner & Senior PR Manager, Projects
Tel: 07764 676 850