How COVID-19 is impacting culture and consumer behavior: April 27 – May 1.

By C-K’s Brand Planning and PR/Social teams

Over it​: that’s the consumer mindset this week. Anxiety, boredom and frustration combined has exhausted our patience with COVID and the lockdown. In the pursuit of normalcy, select states have begun to ease restrictions, masks have emboldened the public to venture out more and people are getting creative about earning money during the pandemic. Meanwhile, a promising new drug, Remdesivir, is helping people, quite literally, get over COVID-19.

(Read the trends for April 20 – 24.)


Overall, 59% of Americans have practiced social distancing in the past 24 hours, down six points since April 6. From spending more time outside the home to protests, consumers are starting to test the limits. As some states start to loosen their restrictions and the temperatures increase, we expect consumers to continue to test boundaries. ​

Finding a#LockdownHustle

Contract and gig workers are among the hardest hit economically. With few states structured to help them find relief, many are turning to creative side hustles to keep earning. 

Board Games make a Comeback

We’ve extensively documented the rise in video gaming during COVID-19, but the original version of gaming is also on the rise. The lockdown has reignited the globe’s passion for board games, puzzles and cards.

  • Feeling cooped up, people are rediscovering all kinds of classic board games and puzzles
  • In March, sales of games like these on Amazon were up over 1,000%, in-store sales at Walmart were up 100%, U.S. puzzle sales were up 370% year over year, and Hasbro saw global sales jump 25%.  
  • Fans of board games practicing social distancing are hosting virtual game nights.  
  • In a modern twist, you can even play these classic games online with friends

Bacon is the NewToilet Paper

Infected workers are causing meat processing plants to close or drastically reduce capacity. The result is a bottleneck that has forced farmers to euthanize pigs and chickens because they can’t be processed. Meanwhile output has slowed, leaving grocery stores with little inventory. The resulting fear of meat shortages is driving people to stock up on protein. 

The Old Rules No Longer Apply

With so many new rules people have to follow, perhaps it’s not surprising that we’re seeing some of the old rules being flouted more frequently. There has been a notable increase in some “bad” behavior.

  • With less traffic, people are speeding more, leading to higher fatality rates for accidents.  
  • The rate of guns found on planes has increased. Some blame “apocalypse mindset.”
  • More drinking in public without fear of reprise is driven by “to-go cocktailsanddriveway happy hours.

COVID AnxietyExtends to Pets

The stress of the lockdown and social distancing is well documented in humans, but there is growing evidence it is also affecting our fury friends.  While our lives are disrupted, we find comfort in them. However, we often forget their world has also been turned upside down so it’s no wonder they’re acting strange. 

  •  Normally predictable pets are now doing odd things, leaving some speculating if their pets hate them. 
  • The question is have they changed or have we discovered the secret lives now that we’re home? 
  • In reality, we need to attend to their mental health just now and, especially, when ‘stay at home’ is over. 

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