Two-thirds of shoppers switched brands during pandemic, says survey

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About two thirds of Britons have switched to other grocery brands during the pandemic, says recent research findings, claiming that changes made during the pandemic have been so profound that many are set to become habitual.

As per a research from antuit.ai, consumer behaviors changed during the pandemic due to a range of factors. About 57 per cent of consumers surveyed traded down from premium while nearly 40 per cent plan to stick with those choices post pandemic.

The report, titled “Research Study: Consumer Packaged Goods, Predicting the Unpredictable”, further adds that lack of product availability – from the panic buying that left shelves bare at the start of the pandemic to the shelf gaps prompted by Brexit and the more recent ‘pingdemic’ – also impacted customers’ choices when it came to brands. 

A quarter (25 per cent) of those trading down did so because their normal brand wasn’t available, with a further 23 per cent saying lack of choice on the shelf had prompted them to switch.

The research, based on 2000 respondents, also states that nearly two thirds of consumers say they are now more sensitive to pricing and promotions and offers than they were before.

Most of the respondents also agreed that they will continue to shop more local ingredients or healthy items.

Meanwhile, those who opted to trade up said they did so to spend more on ‘finer’ foods and allocate more discretionary spend to groceries because they weren’t socialising (38 per cent), while a third (33 per cent) said they were happy to trade up to support local brands and businesses at a difficult time. 

Interestingly, as the pandemic eases, just 15 per cent who traded up plan to stick with their pandemic buying habits and will revert back to the goods they bought before the Covid-19 crisis meanwhile 38 per cent who trading down said they would make the switch a permanent habit.