COVID-19 has had a profound effect on consumer behaviour. This conceptual piece uses foraging theory, extending and developing the foraging ecology of consumption model, to examine consumer behaviour in a pandemic. It is argued that a foraging interpretation of consumer behaviour is more relevant in situations where supply is uncertain, risks are enhanced and resourcefulness is important. The paper assesses the underlying mechanisms of behaviour change-objectives, currency and constraints – from a foraging perspective and examines their role in changing both patch (retail) choices and which items are consumed (prey choices). Additionally, the paper examines temporal and social challenges within the pandemic. The paper considers whether pandemic consumption behaviours will remain as threat levels subside and concludes with suggestions for future research.
- Foraging Theory