What does The New Acosta COVID-19 Report Reveal About Shoppers?

New Acosta study on shopper behavior during COVID-19 uncovers current consumer outlook and post-pandemic shopping intentions. The research found that while the pandemic concern level is finally on the decline, shoppers acknowledge it will be a long time before things return to normal.

Shopping and eating behaviors dramatically changed last year. Many shoppers plan to continue those new habits post-COVID-19, stated Acosta, an integrated sales and marketing services provider in the consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) industry.

“With vaccines rolling out, our latest shopper research shows COVID-19 concern levels may finally be waning, with current concern at 7.5 out of 10 — the lowest level reported since early March 2020. Even still, consumers realize there is a long road ahead. Thirty-five percent of shoppers think ‘normal’ is more than a year away,” said Colin Stewart, Executive Vice President, Business Intelligence at Acosta. “What’s more, many behaviors developed during the pandemic will be here to stay. Post-COVID-19, 75% of consumers plan to stick with at least some of their new habits.”

Grocery Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic provides insights on the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic, including:

Shopping and Eating Behavior Changes Caused by the COVID-19

Shopper behaviors shifted drastically in 2020:

  • Sixty-five percent of shoppers reported cooking more at home
  • Fifty-three percent of shoppers reported spending less time in stores
  • Fifty percent of shoppers said stocking up on food/cleaning supplies
  • Forty-eight percent of shoppers reported spending more money per shopping trip
  • Forty percent of shoppers reported more online shopping

Post-Pandemic Shopping Outlook

When asked about their shopping intentions post-COVID-19:

  • Twenty-one percent of shoppers reported they would go back to their pre-pandemic habits
  • Fifty-nine percent of shoppers said they would continue with some of their new habits
  • Sixteen percent of shoppers said they would continue with all or most of their new habits
  • Four percent of shoppers are not sure what they will do

Related Article: Dunnhumby Survey: COVID-19 Propels Amazon to Top U.S. Grocery Retailer

Post-pandemic, top priorities for shoppers will be product availability (60%), low prices (52%), and customer safety (42%).

Acosta’s research was gathered via online surveys using its proprietary shopper community between December 30, 2020, and January 4, 2021. Acosta also released a 10-part COVID-19 shopper insights series in 2020, covering the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic.