How COVID-19 is impacting culture and consumer behavior: March 30 – April 3.
By C-K’s Brand Planning and PR/Social teams
In these challenging and uncertain times, C-K’s philosophy of Make Friends, Not Ads® couldn’t be more relevant and needed in our lives. Being a good friend, starts with empathy and understanding. So we set out to find out how our consumer friends are feeling and what they’re doing during this world-wide pandemic.
Just like the situation, moods, behaviors and attitudes are shifting and evolving. By understanding our consumer friends in this time of need, we can be better prepared to connect with them, today, and better prepared for the time after.
Don’t hesitate to reach out. We welcome conversation and dialogue as we all figure this out together.
Trends for March 30 – April 3
(Read the trends for March 23 – 27.)
As the effects of social distancing set in and many people’s finances are impacted, the mental health toll of the coronavirus is a growing concern.
- 10 million people applied for unemployment in March.
- 61% of people are stressed out and 31% of are sleeping less due to COVID-19 anxiety.
- Domestic abuse is expected to rise.
- Disrupted pregnancy plans add additional stress to an already uncertain time.
- U.S. and Canadian consumers stockpile cannabis to deal with stress.
Social-Distancing Tensions Rise
Tensions are rising between those who obey and those who flaunt the shelter-in-place rules. The response by governments is to “take our toys away,” closing parks, trails, beaches and other places where people congregate.
- Across the country social distancing is morphing from a public health to political act.
- Some are throwing pandemic parties while others are trying to force people to follow the rules.
- Social distance shaming: a report out of Canada shows support for punishing those who do not follow quarantine rules.
- In response to culture’s inability to follow guidelines the following have been closed: national parks, trails, paths, public parks and golf courses.
Overwhelmed with the threat of COVID-19 and the anxiety that comes along with it, people are turning to mainstays and new methods to bolster their physical and mental well-being.
- Spa days are seeing a lift as search volume for “spa day at home” has increased 20% in the past two weeks on Pinterest.
- Vitamins are seeing an uptick and “immunity-boosting” drink sales jumped 200-500% last week.
- To cope with this anxiety, people are self-medicating with cannabis and CBD.
- Mediation is on the rise: in the past week meditation app Breethe jumped 31 spots in health and fitness rankings and BetterMe leapt 70 spots. Headspace app saw a threefold increase in the completion of “stressed” meditations and nine times more people have finished the “reframing your anxiety” at home workout.
Gratitude for the Front-Line
The world’s attention has turned to helping healthcare workers who are understaffed, overworked and undersupplied.
- People are looking for ways to help those on the front lines with food and more.
- Businesses and people helping produce protective gear for healthcare workers who lack the basics.
- People around the world taking to their windows to cheer in appreciation of healthcare workers.
Spreading Good News
Emotionally taxed by the constant barrage of bad news, people are looking for places they can find positive news.
- News outlets recognize that people are looking to find hope while everyday people are creating content to cheer each other up.
- Good news oasis: John Krasinski and Ryan Reynolds are creating their own shows focused on good news.
- Tik Tok is driving users to participate in dance routines and challenges that the whole family can do. Even medical workers are joining in on the fun as a stress relief.
Americans will conduct virtual Seders, cook Easter brunch for just one or two and break their Ramadan fasts while isolating at home and celebrated Nowruz, all while practicing social distancing.
- With online worship, candy shortages and fewer loved ones around, traditions are being redefined as we learn how to celebrate holidays on lockdown.
- At Passover Seders every year, Jews read the 4 questions and the beginning line is “Why is tonight different from all other nights?” – this year it’s particularly different.
- Passover, Easter and Ramadan menus are changing to account for limited access to ingredients.
- Even the Vatican issued guidelines on how to celebrate Easter.