ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. – A new poll conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Farm Rich found that two in three Americans are reverting to childhood food favorites and eating more comfort food during the pandemic.  

The study found an uptick in favorites such as pizza (55%), hamburgers (48%), ice cream (46%), French fries (45%), mac and cheese (38%), spaghetti and meatballs (32%) and others.  

Other highlights of the survey include: 

  • 69% say they’ll continue to enjoy the same amount of comfort food that they are now, post-pandemic.  

  • Americans are spending 30 more minutes each day cooking in the kitchen compared to the same time last year. 

  • 41% reach for comfort food to bring happiness. 

  • 85% have gained a few pounds staying at home: an extra six pounds on average. 

  • 67% would rather give up alcohol instead of their favorite comfort food dish. 

  • 90% say their online and social searches for food inspiration have increased during the pandemic. 

  • The comfort food meal everyone is most looking forward to enjoying at a restaurant post-pandemic is steak.  

Millennials are spending the most on comfort food items at the grocery store — averaging nearly $71 a week. And when it comes to cravings, age plays a factor, with 75% of those between the ages of 26-56 gravitating toward comfort food more this year than last. In the 18-25 age bracket, that number was 54%, while 57% of those ages 57 plus reported an increase.   

 When asked what they’d rather give up for a year, 67% of respondents said they would rather give up alcohol instead of their favorite comfort food dish, and 67% would also give up social media over having to be without their go-to indulgent dish for a year.    

“When things are uneasy, it’s the little joys that get us through, whether that’s FaceTiming with family and friends or stronger bonds made over homecooked meals,” said Ciera Womack, Farm Rich senior marketing manager. “And as these responses show, sometimes it’s seeking comfort in certain foods which provide us more relief.” 

 According to the poll, 41% said they reach for comfort foods because they bring them happiness, while 39% say these types of foods provide them with something to look forward to in these uncertain times. And 33% say it offers “stress relief.”  

When asked what characteristics make meals or snacks comforting, 47% associate them with great taste, while 36% said foods that enhance their mood or make them feel better are what makes something “comfort food.”   

“Food is a common denominator in what gives us comfort during these stressful times, and this survey throws a spotlight on the changing American table in 2020, and how these types of foods are having a positive impact on our lives right now,” Womack said.