How COVID-19 is impacting culture and consumer behavior: April 6 – 10.
By C-K’s Brand Planning and PR/Social teams
This week, U.S. consumers are finding comfort where they can while waiting out the pandemic. As many enter their fourth or fifth week of quarantine, they are are settling into a new shelter-in-place lifestyle and actively working to bring some levity to their day-to-day.
Trends for April 6 – 10.
Finding Joy in the Moment
Despite an overload of negative news, people are choosing to focus on small pieces of joy in their lives to help strike a balance between panic and peace.
- The Italian youth choir came together virtually for their rendition of Helplessly Hoping.
- Livestreams are providing some refuge to lift spirits during shelter in place orders.
- Young people are increasingly turning to comedy for emotional support. 92% of 13 to 34-year-olds say that watching funny videos has improved their mood.
- CBS News reporter, Steve Hartman, teaches a weekly online class for kids, Kindness 101. His focus this week is on optimism and joy.
We’ve talked about the fallacy of social distancing in earlier reports, and we continue to see unique ways consumers are staying socially connected while physically distancing.
- Consumers are spending 20% more time in mobile apps to connect with others.
- Neighborhoods are leveraging social media to gather and create community through song and lights from their balconies.
- Not only are people using VR headsets to partake in online entertainment, they’re seeking human interaction through social VR platforms such as RecRoom, AltspaceVR and Bigscreen.
Reconnecting With the Kid in Us
Stir-crazy parents are jumping into some of their kids’ favorite time-filling activities.
- Kids are bringing their parents into the TikTok game, to everyone’s (eventual) delight. It’s also giving us a reason to get dressed again.
- Virtual party games are helping to rebuild social connections and bridge the generations.
- Parents and kids are getting competitive by playing video games together.
The junk food of our childhoods, old TV shows, and classic video games are making a comeback as consumers look to soothe stress with old favorites.
- Classic food brands like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Goldfish are having a moment as we trade our “adult” foods for comforting childhood favorites.
- Adults are escaping the pandemic world for the familiar videogame worlds of their youth.
- We’re even pining over the less-distant past, filling Instagram with “throwback” photos of pre-quarantine times and yearning for the simple pleasures we took for granted.
Bringing the Bar Home
Consumers are looking for ways to slide staples of their past life into their current situation, and drinking is no exception. Bars and alcohol companies are finding creative ways to answer this need.
- Online alcohol sales in the U.S. are up 243% vs. last year.
- Wine companies are now shipping wine collections to buyers. Once opened, people can join sommeliers via Zoom for a virtual tasting session.
- Brewdog has launched 102 virtual bars to encourage social distancing without sacrificing community.
Our Changing Carts
Our physical and virtual shopping carts are looking a bit different these days as everyone settles into a new way of life.
- Processed foods are making a comeback. Campbell’s Soup sales are up 59%, Prego sauce is up 52%, and Kraft can’t keep Mac and Cheese on the shelf.
- Slim Jim jerky and Chef Boyardee products have seen a 50% increase in shipments. Hungry Man TV Dinners and Van de Kamp seafood are also seeing a surge in sales.
- Meanwhile, running shoes and athletic wear are plummeting, with close to 70% decline in sales.