COVID-19 will change consumers’ purchasing habits

May 7, 2020

A recent survey of 1,800 U.S. consumers by Inspire PR Group, in partnership with Illuminology, gathered information on Americans’ food purchasing habits before, during and after COVID-19 restrictions.

The Eating 2020: How COVID-19 Will Change Consumer Engagement With Food report indicates that health and safety will remain a top concern for grocery shoppers and diners once COVID-19-related stay-at-home restrictions are lifted. The vast majority of those surveyed want grocery stores and restaurants to have employees wear face masks and encourage social distancing. Another key finding is that consumers intend to continue stockpiling eggs, milk and other household staples once they resume normal buying practices.


Threats posed by other customers

When presented with all safety options, grocery shoppers are most concerned about the perceived health threat posed by other customers, more so than employees. They are also concerned about the measures grocery stores are taking to prevent the spread of disease, such as requiring employees to wear face masks, limiting the number of people in stores at one time and enforcing social distancing.

Changes in restaurant dining

Dine-in visits to restaurants also are projected to resume but will not reach pre-COVID-19 levels. When stay-at-home restrictions were in place, carryout, drive-thru and delivery visits increased to once per week or once every two weeks per respondent, on average. These consumption methods are projected to decrease significantly after social distancing measures are lifted as consumers begin dining-in at restaurants and shopping at grocery stores and supermarkets more comfortably. Click here for more information on Eating 2020 and to download the full report.