Extra kg’s, a fiancée & extreme satisfaction: The experiences and motivations of bread bakers in times of Covid-19
This research project investigated the previously unexplored phenomenon of the rise in popularity of bread baking during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. Adopting an inductive approach to theory building, a wide-ranging survey was distributed online, which received 240 respondents over a snapshot of nine days. Analysis of the data collected, using grounded theory, and involving the frameworks of Gallagher et al’s (2009) hierarchical theory of well-being and the FIES scale of food security measurement (FAO 2020), indicated that, bread baking contributed strongly to the positive psychological wellbeing of respondents by bringing pleasure and relaxation as an antidote to their anxieties around the Covid-19 situation. Bread baking also provided an element of structure and control to their lives, as well as the opportunity for social connections in a world of enforced isolation. While food security concerns were evident, these were not a primary motivation behind lockdown bread baking, however bread baking did help to alleviate respondents’ anxieties caused by concerns around the food supply chain. Primarily, respondents had simply taken advantage of more time at home to participate in an engaging and productive leisure pursuit, which provided them with both positive psychological wellbeing attributes and a tangible end product.