• Consumer PR
  • Content marketing
  • Corporate communications
  • Marketing PR
  • Media relations


The food we eat is a big part of our culture and our society. For over a hundred years, ICA has followed how society has changed by watching Swedish eating habits. In 2020, our lives changed fundamentally as a result of the corona pandemic, which also proved to have a big impact on how and what we eat.

ICA, as a market leader, is always at the forefront when it comes to analyzing consumption trends, also during the first months of the pandemic. ICA wanted to analyze how Swedish consumer behavior changed as a result of the pandemic. The report “Food-In-Crisis” presented some of the changes ICA saw in food consumption during the crisis. The report also clearly shows the importance of food and meals in people’s lives in crisis situations.

The purpose of the report was to increase the understanding of customers’ everyday lives in a crisis situation, an everyday life that did not look like before. What the report showed was, among other things, that consumers stockpiled basic goods, especially at the beginning of the crisis, and sought home-cooked food. For example, searches for traditional dishes such as “Hasselback potatoes”, cabbage pudding and potato pancakes (“Raggmunkar”) increased during the period. But many people also looked for everyday luxury, perhaps to spice up everyday life that has been spent more at home. Customers also seem to have baked significantly more than usual. For example, sales of dry yeast increased by 143 percent and the recipe category “bread” had 123 percent more traffic compared to the same period last year.

In this project, we also collaborated with Richard Tellström, associate professor and researcher in food culture and food trends. The purpose of the collaboration was to provide a food culture and historical perspective on the changes we have noticed. Richard contributed with interesting parallels and reflections based on his knowledge of previous times of crisis in Sweden. Maybe the food and the meal can give us some comfort in a time of crisis and uncertainty – whether it’s about baking bread, eating a luxury dinner on a weekday or seeking comfort in childhood memories of home cooking.

The report was activated towards media, in own channels and internally at ICA.