Consumers Changed by Coronavirus

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Consumers Changed by Coronavirus

By Abby Kleckler - 03/30/2020
Consumers Changed by Coronavirus
The Consumer Brands Association asked consumers how long they're stocked with essential products

The Consumer Brands Association (CBA) has been conducting a weekly poll of American adults since March 4, showing significant swings in how consumers are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Eighty-four percent of Americans have seen shortages of high-demand products during the coronavirus outbreak, up from only 37% at the beginning of the month.

As for concern, 54% of survey respondents now report that they're "very concerned," a sentiment shown in their grocery shopping behaviors. The percentage of consumers who say that they're stocking up on staples has jumped to 67%, up from 22% at the beginning of March.

“This pandemic has impacted every American, changing our daily lives in unprecedented ways,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based CBA. “While Americans’ concerns about the coronavirus and their ability to access essential products is high, we’re beginning to see slight declines in both, indicating a shift in sentiment and experiences around our ‘new normal.’”

Much research reports record online sales amid the outbreak, and the CBA surveys see the same: On March 4, only 18% reported buying online or using delivery services like Instacart or Amazon Fresh; now that number has risen to 39%.

“The consumer packaged goods [CPG] industry is committed to meeting consumers’ needs for daily essentials, lending as much normalcy to their lives as it can,” said Freeman. “Ensuring Americans have access to the products they depend on every day is our top priority. Consumer Brands is intensely focused on removing barriers to access and keeping the CPG supply chain moving.”