Why Do People Buy Weird Food Before a Hurricane?

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She goes on to explain that in fact, the proclivity to stock up on junk food before a potential disaster has been studied a lot. I am quite unoriginal, it turns out. “The tendency of those bracing for a hurricane to stockpile junk food has been well-documented. In 2004, Walmart reported that it orders extra strawberry Pop-Tarts before a hurricane because sales spike significantly.”
While pudding and Pop-Tarts might not seem like the smartest strategy for surviving a hurricane, there’s more to getting through a disaster than wholesome nutrients. There is the sanity factor to keep in mind; according to Kemp’s research, people go for high-fat and perishable foods (milk, bread, eggs) to encourage calm and comfort, not because they think they are necessarily practical purchases.
“It’s called emotion regulation consumption – the idea is if someone is stuck waiting for a stressful situation like a hurricane to befall them, consuming the foods they like can lower stress and make them happier. ‘Positive emotions have the ability to undo the effects of negative emotions, so that’s why we purchase these products,’ Kemp says.”
So if you find yourself at the store stockpiling for an upcoming storm … and find yourself inexplicably drawn to the Pop-Tart aisle, don’t despair. You are not alone. Remember that comfort can come in strange packages – even little plastic* cups of pudding. That said, don’t forget the batteries and water.

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