Consumer behaviour consistent around the globe

[16 July] The Coronavirus pandemic has been a learning experience for us all, in so many ways. Our freedom and desire to travel, and the hyper-connected planet we have developed is a key reason the pandemic spread so rapidly and widely. Human behaviour has also been forced to change, with social distancing and mask wearing now essential in some situations.

How we shop also changed, and retailers across the globe had to adapt to the unique challenges of this. Panic buying wasn’t limited to one region or country, resulting in massive supply chain issues.

According to Neilsen, consumer behaviour has been the same across the globe since January, one of the few times in history this has ever happened. News events triggered stockpiling and panic buying, with shelves lying empty for weeks in some areas. As lockdowns rolled out across the globe, more home cooking and entertaining took place. Neilsen spending data showed higher levels of purchasing for store cupboard essentials, frozen items, more fresh meat and alcohol, as they stayed away from bars and restaurants.

Efficacy is at fore

Consumer expectation has also changed, and efficacy is front of mind. Making product claims clear is front and centre for manufacturers as they help consumers make purchasing decisions. Changes are also evident in the food industry, with consumers seeking local products, often with shorter and more transparent supply chains. This has been a growing trend for some time; however Covid-19 seems to have led to increased demand.