José A. Alvarado Jr.

Location: New York
Nationality: Puerto Rican American
Biography: José A. Alvarado Jr. (b.1989) is a Puerto Rican photographer dedicated to documenting class inequality, civic engagement, and contemporary issues in Puerto Rico and New York City. He works primarily in long-form storytelling, using visual... read on
7 Ways the Virus Changed Shopping
josé a. alvarado jr.
Sep 11, 2020
When the coronavirus hit, even the most enthusiastic cooks had to adjust to a new, more complicated relationship with their kitchens. For the first time in a generation, Ameri- cans began spending more money at the supermarket than at places where someone else made the food. Grocers saw eight years of projected sales growth packed into one month. Shopping trends that were in their infancy were turbocharged. The six-month shift has been a behavioral scientist’s dream. Shoppers began by building bomb-shelter pantries. Then came a nostalgia phase, with bowls of Lucky Charms and boxes of Little Debbies offering throwback comfort. Soon, days were defined by elaborate culinary stunts, sourdough starter, and kombucha clubs. Although kitchen fatigue is setting in for many, a new set of kitchen habits have been set.“People are moving on to more complex cooking, and we don’t see that going away,” said Rodney McMullen, the chairman, and chief executive of Kroger, where sales rose 30 percent at the onset of the pandemic, including big jumps in the pasta aisles, the beer and wine department and baking supplies, including a 600 percent jump in sales of yeast. He and others in the business say the COVID-driven return to the kitchen could change grocery shopping forever.“This is a pivotal time in our history,” said Anna Nagurney, a professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts who studies supply chains. “Not all of what we’ve seen will stick, but a lot of it will.”
- Photographed for The New York Times. Words by Kim Severson.


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