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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The whole country is eating every meal at home — and that’s triggering widespread shifts in the food supply chain.

What's happening: Restaurants are turning into grocery stores and wholesalers, and supermarket chains are functioning as grocery-pickers, as they adapt to America's new lifestyle.

Driving the news: To help consumers who can't find what they need at picked-over local markets — and to supplement sales — restaurants are selling groceries alongside prepared food.

  • Subway, Panera Bread and Moe's Southwest Grill are among the restaurant chains that have started selling bags full of their own ingredients — like fresh produce and bread.
  • Bakeries are getting into the act, selling ingredients needed for home baking — like yeast, butter and sourdough starter — as the frenzy for breadmaking continues.
    • With many supermarkets sold out of flour, some bakeries are taking 50-pound bags of the stuff and repackaging it into 5-pound bags to sell to retail customers.
    • "Everyone wants to make some godforsaken bread," is how two Bay Area writers put it in an article for ABC's KGO station.

Grocery stores are turning into warehouses. The Whole Foods store in Manhattan's Bryant Park temporarily closed to the public this week to focus solely on fulfilling the barrage of grocery delivery orders for Amazon Prime members.

  • "Pandemic shopping" has made delivery windows hard to get through online-only grocers like FreshDirect and Peapod, so brick-and-mortar supermarkets are trying to seize the day.
  • A sign-of-the-times headline in USA Today: "'Refund my money!' Customers accuse Instacart shoppers of stealing their groceries."

There are more — and bigger — warehouses. The country's shift from buying in-store to buying online means that all food retailers are leasing more warehouse space, WSJ reports.

The big picture: Eating and shopping for food are deeply ingrained habits, says John Stanton, a professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. We tend to buy the same things every week — just as we keep going back to our favorite restaurants to order "the usual."

But a shock to the system like the coronavirus pandemic is quickly breaking us of our old habits and forcing us to make new ones.

  • Grocery shopping is up 26% as home cooking becomes the norm, AP reports.
  • Instacart — which delivers groceries via online order for 25,000 North American stores — says its order volume has jumped 150%, per Time. Before the pandemic, online grocery was just 3% of the U.S. food market.

What to watch: Delivery companies like Amazon and Instacart are staffing up by the tens of thousands as demand keeps surging.

  • Business Insider Intelligence projects that half of American consumers will have tried online grocery delivery by the end of 2020.
  • Says Stanton: "The question is, how many of these habits will last after this is over?"

Go deeper

10 mins ago - World

Scoop: Ukraine tells senators post-invasion sanctions are no help

Zelensky. Photo: Johanna Geron/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told U.S. senators visiting Kyiv this week that waiting to impose sanctions on Russia until after an invasion is of no use to Ukraine, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: The Senate is currently working on a major sanctions package to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine. Democrats and Republicans are united in their support for Ukraine, but divided over whether it would be more effective to sanction Russia now to signal resolve, or hold up the threat of future sanctions to demonstrate the high costs of an invasion.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.