The coronavirus pandemic is turning Britain into a nation of home bakers, creators, DIYers, musos and TV bingers, and bringing friends and family closer together, as the nation gets set to enter the third week of Covid-19 lockdown.
The Coronavirus UK Consumer Tracker from research firm Rare:Consulting throws the spotlight on purchasing behaviour in the retail, grocery, DIY, beauty, entertainment and alcohol sectors, tracking changes in consumers’ attitudes and habits across those sectors as well as revealing insights into the nation’s changing emotions.
Among the key findings is that nearly half (49%) of the 1,000 consumers surveyed are watching more TV and movies streamed online with others, with a similar number (48%) reducing their sports and exercise activities and instead turning to “Netflix parties” as a way of socialising.
The same proportion (49%) of the UK population are listening to music more than usual, while over a quarter (28%) of people are spending more time playing games, including board games.
Nearly two-fifths (39%) of consumers are spending more time doing crafts and hobbies, with 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds buying more products relating to hobbies and interests online.
When it comes to DIY, over a third (37%) of those engaging with home management tasks say they are doing so more than usual, with three-fifths (60%) increasing the amount they clean around the home and nearly half (47%) of 33- to 40-year-olds have increased the amount of baking they are doing.
The emotional response to the outbreak is also striking, nearly half (52%) of those surveyed feel a sense of community spirit towards their local area, 50% feel a global sense of community and over three-fifths (62%) now feel closer to their family.
Commenting on the findings, Rare:Consulting founder and CEO Ben Pask said: “People are tailoring their behaviour around the evolving state of the pandemic. The majority of consumers are worried about it and also concerned about their jobs. On the plus side, there is a stronger sense of community spirit in business, family life, social life and on a global scale.
“People are still socialising, just not in conventional ways. They are trying things like online streaming of games and movies in greater numbers. When the dust has settled and all of this is over, it will be interesting to see which new forms of communication and socialising stay, and which will be a distant memory.”
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