Questions and answers about
the UK economy.

Covid disruptions and resilience of retail food prices around the world

This project will use new price indexes to conduct nearly real-time monitoring of retail prices by food group and nutrient composition, measuring month-to-month changes in the cost and affordability of nutritious diets in various countries around the world. We will use software tools and data developed through a project funded by UKAid and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation entitled Changing Access to Nutritious Diets in Africa and South Asia (CANDASA): The CANDASA project’s new aims related to Covid-19 are:(1) Obtain monthly updates for item-level food prices from as many countries as possible;(2) Match items to nutrient composition and food group to compute diet costs;(3) Compute cost-of-diet indexes by food group and for nutrient adequacy monthly for each location;(4) Identify price spikes that signal supply chain failures, and price declines that would signal loss of income and effective demand, as anomalies relative to the spatio-temporal price surface observed in previous years;(5) Match food price anomalies to the timing, location and severity of COVID outbreaks, to identify conditions that make retail food prices more or less resilient to COVID-related disruption.

Lead investigator:

William A. Masters


Friedman School of Nutrition & Dept. of Economics, Tufts University

Primary topic:

Prices & interest rates

Region of data collection:


Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection