COVID-19 stimulates new behaviours and choices in the US

May 19, 2020
Industry News
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COVID-19 is stimulating new behaviours and choices among brands in consumers, as they experience product shortages and explore new experiences.

As Americans become more unsettled with their shelter-at-home lives, new at-home behaviors are emerging that will no doubt impact incumbent marketers. Restless consumers looking to feel safe, fight boredom, and ultimately reclaim a sense of normalcy, are now also trying brands they might not otherwise choose. Americans are baking more, making it hard for supermarkets to keep traditional flour and yeast ingredients in-stock. We are also becoming more self-sufficient, proudly sharing how to farm used lettuce, tomatoes, and onions via social media.

We are even spending time inspiring others through unexpected gifts of rocks painted with inspirational messages. These new activities foreshadow a wave of unanticipated consumer behaviours that will continue to change over the next several months and perhaps years. Since the start of the pandemic, Kantar has been measuring how consumer behaviours are changing. Over the last month, online shopping has increased from 45% to 58%, including an increase to 70% among 18 24 y/o. To save money, Americans who are avoiding the purchase of non-essential items has increased from 43% to 60%, with consumers with income $30-$50k peaking at 69%.

Consumers are more promiscuous with the brands they are purchasing. Forty-two percent of the economically-stable 35-54 y/o consumers have tried different brands to those they would usually buy. 

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