Assessment of global food demand in unexpected situations

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The methodological approach for assessing the formation of food demand in unforeseen situations using digital Internet-technologies and the assessment itself, is substantiated in the paper (in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020). Comparison and theoretical generalization, as well as statistical test-assessment of hypotheses and structural regularities based on the data of Google Trends Internet platform, is used to analyze consumer preferences and intensity of demand changes for meat, milk, sugar, bread, and flour during the pandemic and quarantine, both in developed and developing countries. It is discovered that the biggest changes can be observed in the developed countries: consumer preferences shifted from rather expensive food products (milk and meat) to much cheaper ones (flour and bread). It is asserted that a decrease in consumer demand for basic food products will have a negative impact on the global economy. In 2020, a considerable decrease in GDP is expected for the developed countries; in the developing countries, GDP decline will not be as large, but prices are expected to rise much more noticeably. The following anti-crisis measures are proposed: support of the most vulnerable population and increase of food accessibility; temporary reduction of the VAT and other taxes influencing the price of food; reduction of central banks’ lending rates, etc. With the correct measures applied, the stabilization of consumer demand for food and gradual growth of the global economy is expected by the end of 2021.

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    • Figure 1. Results of the meta-analysis of meat demand intensity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in developed economies (demand has decreased)
    • Figure 2. Results of the meta-analysis of flour demand intensity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in developed economies (demand has increased)
    • Figure 3. Results of the meta-analysis of flour demand intensity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in developing economies (demand has not changed)
    • Table 1. Description of countries to analyze the structure and intensity of the demand changes for basic food products
    • Table 2. Comparison of the structure of consumer demand for basic food products for the period from May 2019 to May 2020 (before and during the COVID-19 pandemic)
    • Table 3. Comparison of the intensity of consumer demand for basic food products in the period from May 2019 to May 2020 (before and during the COVID-19 epidemic), the number of search queries in points
    • Table 4. Changes in the intensity of consumer demand for basic food products during the pandemic, according to the results of the meta-analysis
    • Funding acquisition
      Iaroslav Gadzalo, Mykola Sychevskiy
    • Project administration
      Iaroslav Gadzalo, Mykola Sychevskiy, Liudmyla Deineko
    • Supervision
      Iaroslav Gadzalo, Mykola Sychevskiy, Olha Kovalenko
    • Writing – review & editing
      Iaroslav Gadzalo, Mykola Sychevskiy, Olha Kovalenko, Liudmyla Deineko
    • Conceptualization
      Mykola Sychevskiy, Olha Kovalenko, Liudmyla Deineko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Writing – original draft
      Mykola Sychevskiy, Olha Kovalenko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Data curation
      Olha Kovalenko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Formal Analysis
      Olha Kovalenko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Investigation
      Olha Kovalenko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Methodology
      Olha Kovalenko, Liudmyla Deineko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Validation
      Olha Kovalenko, Liudmyla Deineko, Lyudmila Yashchenko
    • Visualization
      Olha Kovalenko, Liudmyla Deineko, Lyudmila Yashchenko