Friday, July 19, 2024

The lasting effect of the Covid-19 pandemic

Retailers, manufacturers and their brands will find themselves fighting harder than ever to woo and win share with shoppers at shelf, according to new research.

A recent survey conducted by WOM Network with over 1,500 Australian grocery buyers via Mouths of Mums has revealed Covid-19 has fundamentally reshaped the way main grocery buyers now shop.

Consumers predicted change

Mid lockdown 2020, WOM Network conducted a special edition of its annual Shopper Diary Research to gauge Australian shoppers’ responses to Covid-19 and beyond.

  • 44% said they are likely to continue doing less frequent, larger grocery shopping trips while 40% seemed to believe they would continue pantry stocking.
  • 43% said they were likely to continue to do more cooking at home post COVID-19
  • 27% said they would likely to do more online shopping for groceries.

At the time, with no clear end to Covid-19 in sight, this sentiment made sense. Shoppers were still masked up, in and out of national, state or location-based lockdowns and the future was murky.

Has Covid-19 created permanent change?

A year on, the 2021 Shopper Diary Research revisited this exact issue.  The results reveal the greatest fundamental shift in the main grocery buyers’ average shopping week since the study began in 2010.

  • We are making less trips to the supermarket each week: 63% are grocery shopping only 1-2 times a week and 51% will top-up staple supplies at service stations/convenience stores. 89% spend 4 hours or less grocery shopping per week.
  • We are spending more on average per week than ever before. 68% of families spend $200 or less on food and basic groceries per week, while 84% spend $250 or less.
  • 19% of main grocery buyers are regularly shopping online. However online shopping still faces trust issues in some categories, such as fresh food.

The April study also explores other changes in shopping behaviour and attitudes to grocery buying, retailers, manufacturers and brands, the consequences of which will extend well beyond the shelf. For further findings, contact WOM Network Director Warwick Hills at

WOM Network is the publisher of the Mouths of Mums and YOMM digital platforms. Reaching over 2 million Australian homes every month, WOM Network grows and manages highly engaged communities to harness their influence to support consumer brands at every stage of the product life cycle.

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