The rampant spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent actions taken to “flatten the curve” have disrupted daily life in ways and at speed never before experienced. One overarching characteristic of grocery shopping in the COVID-19 era is ‘switching’. McKinsey reports that 75% of consumers have tried a new store, different way of shopping, or brand since March. Many were more than satisfied with these “new” experiences. Forced choice replacements due to pandemic induced disruptions have become first choice preferences.
Loyalty is up for grabs.
Consumer confidence in the ability to protect their own health, provide for their families, and enjoy taken-for-granted freedoms has been shaken to the core. Entire industries were shut down. Unemployment skyrocketed. Economic growth ground to a halt, and the “Lockdown Recession” began. Purchase and consumption patterns changed overnight. Even the best statistical demand forecasts became irrelevant. Supply chains struggled and pivoted. Old habits fractured and new habits formed.