This is the 1st insights digest of Segmanta’s Life During COVID-19 study. We conducted research in the US and the UK to understand how the recent pandemic has impacted consumerism, personal relationships, the job market, along with general beliefs and opinions during this unusual time. More than 2,000 respondents completed the survey.
As the COVID-19 pandemic leads to new social distancing norms, consumers are forced to adapt their basic grocery shopping habits. Research shows that the frequency of shopping has significantly gone down while spending per purchase has largely increased since the pandemic. Additionally, more consumers are reluctant to risk their health by shopping in-store, instead of turning to online grocers to stock their pantries.
Our survey asked a series of questions about grocery shopping habits to consumers in the UK and US, and below are some major findings.
- 62% of US respondents and 52% of UK respondents said they’ve cooked at home more often since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
- 77% of UK consumers and 70% of US consumers claim that they spend slightly or significantly more money on grocery shopping since the pandemic.
- Pre-pandemic, only 3% of US consumers purchased groceries from online stores. That figure has gone up to 19% during the pandemic, highlighting an increase in online grocery shopping of 533%. A study from Bain & Company indicates similar findings.
- Interestingly, consumers in countries like the UK and China have adopted online grocery shopping much earlier than the US. Prior to the pandemic, surveyed UK consumers were 4.4X more likely than U.S. consumers to order grocery delivery online.
- For consumers with children, grocery expenses substantially increased since the pandemic started, compared to non-parent consumers. As children were restricted from going to school during the pandemic, these grocery expenses were mainly transferred to families who footed the grocery bill.
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Will the new grocery shopping habits stick after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted? On one hand, amidst the crisis, grocery suppliers struggle to keep up with the surged demand, both in physical and online stores, motivating sellers to reshape their inventory, service quality, staffing, e-commerce user experience, etc. On the other hand, 36% of respondents in our survey reported unemployed or furloughed before or during the COVID-19 chaos. Consumers may shy away from high delivery fees when their financial situation worsens. Reaching a balance amongst safety, convenience, and cost should be the new focus of the pandemic era for the grocery industry.