WATCH: Consumer behavior post the coronavirus ‘surge’... What to expect over the next three to four weeks, IRI, BCG

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Iri BCG COVID-19 coronavirus Consumer trends

Now the initial grocery shopping ‘surge’ has calmed down somewhat, what can CPG companies expect in the next three to four weeks as consumers navigate the ‘new normal’?

According to IRI and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which have been tracking consumer attitudes and spending patterns since coronavirus started spreading, we can expect the following in the next three to four weeks or so:

  • "Fresh product sales will rebound as pantry items are used.
  • Fewer trips, weekday trips, and larger baskets will be the new shopping pattern until COVID-19 recedes.
  • Consumer are turning to social media for inspiration and to demonstrate their abilities, while 39% of consumers say they are cooking from scratch more often.
  • Social distancing encourages more consumers to adopt e-commerce, but out of stocks are a challenge in this channel as well. Delivery, where available, is increasing, but click & collect holds more opportunity post-COVID-19, given the existing infrastructure.
  • An opportunity exists for the convenience channel to provide more fill-in and fresh items, particularly in urban areas. Due to out of stocks in other channels, meanwhile, customers are visiting c-stores for non-traditional products, highlighting a “unique opportunity.”
  • Expect continued shifts to larger pack sizes across product categories as people replace on-premise and away-from-home consumption with at-home consumption, particularly in beverage alcohol, non-alcohol beverage, and snack categories.
  • As the reality of a down economy and shelter-in-place is accepted, middle- and upper-income households will purchase more premium products as a reward."

While pantry-stocking trips and spend continued to grow significantly in the week to March 29 compared with the same week a year ago, growth slowed versus the prior week, said IRI/BCG:

IRI BCG - COVID-19 Impact

Meanwhile, e-commerce growth rates remain high above the baseline, but growth decelerated in the week to March 29, while out of stocks were prevalent:


Visit IRI’s COVID-19 portal for more data and insights HERE​.  

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