Shoppers Plan to Stick to Some New Habits Post-Pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Although the pandemic concern level is finally declining, shoppers acknowledge that it will be a long time before circumstances return to normal, according to Acosta's latest COVID-19 shopper insights study.

Both shopping and eating behaviors changed dramatically in 2020, and many shoppers plan to continue these changed habits post-COVID-19.

"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 percent of consumers plan to stick with at least some of their new habits."

The study found that significant behavior changes caused by the pandemic in 2020 included 65 percent of shoppers cooking more at home; 53 percent spending less time in stores; 50 percent stocking up on food/cleaning supplies; 48 percent spending more money per shopping trip; and 40 percent shopping online more.

A majority of shoppers report they do not intend to revert back to their former habits post-COVID-19:

  • 29 percent will go back to their pre-pandemic habits;
  • 59 percent will continue with some of their new habits;
  • 16 percent will continue with most or all of their new habits; and
  • 14 percent are not sure what they will do.

Top priorities for shoppers in a post-pandemic world will be product availability (60 percent), low prices (52 percent) and customer safety (42 percent).

Acosta's research was gathered via online surveys using the company's proprietary shopper community between Dec. 30, 2020, and Jan. 4, 2021.

Jacksonville-based Acosta provides a range of outsourced sales, marketing and retail merchandising services throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.