Pasta lovers

Hello, I am an italian student from Bocconi University. For my master’s thesis I’m working on a project concerning the pasta purchasing habits during Covid-19 in the US market.

If you currently live in the US, I’d appreciate if you could fill out this survey. Your help is much appreciated! Thank you!…


Interested to know more about your project, do you mind elaborating more?

How do you hear about Hungry Onion?

I usually have a bunch of pasta in the pantry, and buy Italian-style and Jewish-style pastas at supermarkets and Asian-style pastas at the Asian groceries. During the pandemic, I’ve restocked a bit from supermarkets (which were out of stock for a few weeks at the beginning, but caught back up), bought some from my drugstore (which sells some food, and I had to pick up drugs), and haven’t gotten to the Asian stores.

Hello! I am an italian student from Bocconi University in Milan. I am attending the last year of the Master of Science in Marketing Management. For my master’s thesis I am studying the impact of Covid-19 on pasta purchasing habits in the US market. I chose to focus on the US market because, before Covid, I was doing an internship in New York at a company in the pasta sector.

It’s an academic research project: all the data will be treated anonymously and will not be disclosed, according to the current privacy legislation. Indeed you are not required to give personal information.
I am trying to spread the survey on different channels/forums/social media because I need to collect at least 150 answers in order to consider the reasearch valid. Otherwise, I will not be able to graduate.

Once collecting the answers, I will analyse them through an academic software called SPSS.
Regarding Hungry Onion, I got in touch with this forum by searching on Google. I thought that here I would meet people who are interested in cooking/food and so would willing to help me!

I’m available for further questions!

Thank you!


Thank you for your answer! Did you fill out the survey? I’d really appreciate!

That was quick!


Do you think there’s a pasta shortage in America and that people are hoarding it like toilet paper?
I’m just confused how you get a Master’s thesis out of this.


The aim of the survey is to study the purchasing behaviour of pasta in general and it is not focused only on pasta shortages. You found the survey quick probably because you are not belonged to the survey’s target (the purchase of a box of pasta during Covid is required to take part in the survey).

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Pasta wasn’t on our quarantine bingo card, as I remember the distant past 3-4 months ago.
Carry on.

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Hello @Giulia95,

Welcome to Hungry Onion, which we often refer to as HO.

I was somewhat impressed with your survey. Most such are poorly crafted with preconceived notions apparent in the questions. Yours is in my opinion in the upper 5%. Well done.

Some thoughts on the questions first:
With respect to the questions about corporate impact on purchasing decisions there was no way to say “I don’t care about these things in the context of COVID-19 purchasing.” With respect to the question about expectations relative to “normal” some people don’t think the old normal will ever return. The questions about purchasing channel don’t address the scattered availability of curbside pickup to reduce personal contact.

We have (I have) talked at length here on HO about the market at large and purchasing patterns. I will only speak for myself. It is my observation that a huge number of Americans cannot or will not cook. It is a sad statement. After the initial panic when people bought everything that wasn’t nailed down fast, easy, and convenient foods have been hit pretty hard. Junk food, frozen dinners, canned goods, and pastas and jarred sauces. I suspect that if you look at industry numbers pasta sales in the US are up substantially. With many restaurant closures people who can’t/won’t cook are buying pasta in huge amounts because they can boil it and dump something out of a jar on top of it. I suspect an inverse relationship between availability of restaurants and pasta sales. As restaurants open (and with surges close) pasta sales will, I maintain, go down and up accordingly.

If you can get industry numbers by shape I predict you’ll see data that supports my hypothesis. Lots of spaghetti and elbow macaroni sold with cavatappi, campanelle, and lasagna quite stable (maybe up a little as people who can cook are home more). Perhaps an interesting sidebar?

No study is better than its dataset. Are you on Reddit? Lots of groups with desperate “I can’t cook” people. r/CookingforBeginners and r/EatCheapandHealthy come to mind.

Your English is very good by the way. Apologies for all my countrymen who struggle with English themselves, much less other languages.


Hello @Auspicious,
Thank you for the precious observations and insights: they will definitely support me in writing my thesis. In particular, I agree with the inverse relationship between availability of restaurants and pasta sales. You are right: the data I have are consistent with your hypothesis.

Regarding the survey, unfortunately I was not able to deepen all the topics related to pasta purchasing habits during Covid-19 (e.g. purchasing channels or delivery services). The survey would have lasted too much. Thanks for suggesting Reddit, I will check it out.

Thank you for the english: I am still learning, therefore sorry for my english mistakes!


What are the, ‘Jewish,’ pastas? Just curious…

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Egg noodles? Or maybe bowties for kasha varnishkes.


Israeli couscous would probably qualify…

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I haven’t done the survey, mostly because you give no idea how many questions there are or how long it will take.

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It’s not that long, pretty straight forward. Go ahead take it :wink:


Hello Evelyn! The survey takes about 10 minutes. Thank you

Like Auspicious, I was also very  impressed with the survey, in terms of its thoroughness (even without knowing exactly what you expect/hope to learn from the survey and its analysis) and the objectivity of your questions. Usually, I stop completing surveys like this part of the way through them, because I get too annoyed by being expected to provide answers that “fit” the survey-taker’s theory/position, but don’t fit the answers I can honestly give.:slightly_smiling_face: And fwiw, with respect to you mentioning what you consider your lack of fluency in English, and whatever it’s like in day-to-day conversation, I found nothing at all  “questionable” about the language of your survey questions; I would not have thought they were written by a non-native English speaker.

Presumably it’s too late to re-write the survey, but the one thing I found a little difficult was the absence of an explicit definition of the types of “pasta”/noodles/macaroni/etc you were interested in hearing about. As billstewart’s comment implies, I (and I think many Americans) eat a fair amount of “pasta” that is not traditional “Italian” pasta, and it wasn’t entirely clear how relevant that might be to you. (In my case, that includes not just what I think of as Central/Eastern European “pastas”, like short egg noodles and a few other shapes, but East Asian wheat-based “pastas”. Traditional non-wheat-based products like rice noodles, also, but since those are more distinctive, I just excluded them from own responses.) But for what it’s worth, I completed your survey based on my consumption of “Italian” pastas, or when it was relevant, mentioned the others specifically in the “other/please explain” fields…


Hello @MikeG, I really appreciate your comments and suggestions. I’m glad you liked the survey. You are right, I should have clarified the definiton of the type of pasta I was interested in. Maybe since I am italian, I naturally assumed what is “pasta”, without thinking that there are different types of pasta in the world and that the purchasing behavior of each of them may be different. In my thesis, I will definitely admit that as a limit of the survey.

Thanks for taking part in the project!