NBER Working Paper No. 27427
Issued in June 2020
We investigate how the coronavirus pandemic affected the demand for online food shopping services using data from the largest agri-food e-commerce platform in Taiwan. We find that an additional confirmed case of COVID-19 increased sales by 5.7% and the number of customers by 4.9%. The demand for grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, and frozen foods increased the most, which benefited small farms over agribusinesses. Online food shopping was highly responsive to COVID-19 media coverage and online content. Because Taiwan did not impose a stay-at-home order, the demand for online food shopping may be similar in other countries after they lift mobility restrictions.