What is the impact of COVID-19 on French consumption's habits?

Céline Laurent
Céline Laurent

Marketing Consultant
April 7, 2020

The world is facing a health crisis that is sure to change everyday behavior. Beyond the direct impact of confinement, we wanted to understand how the French envision the post-Covid-19 era: will their habits and expectations change?

To find out, we interviewed 500 of our users from March 30 to April 2, 2020.

An impact on place of purchase: long live proximity and online

The French continue to do most of their shopping in stores, but 23% have changed brands. Convenience stores are favored over large hypermarkets. A trend that should continue since 22% of respondents, and even 38% over 45 years old, think they make more purchases in the traditional channels (butcher, cheese, market, ...) after the crisis, and 14% think they will continue to do their purchases in stores of closer proximity.

Online is also on the rise with 23% of respondents saying they used onsite pick up and 6% home delivery during the containment.
Among them, almost a quarter were not used to these channels! And what’s more, it is likely not to stop since 18% of respondents think they will use more of these services after the crisis.

An impact on purchasing: local and home-made

The French have already started to change their habits and cook more: 41% of those questioned say they cook a little more than before and 29% said a lot more. These changes should continue as 55% of respondents think they will consume differently after confinement . Consumption wise they want to be more responsible by purchasing more local, French, organic products and more raw products . Local is the first lever for all age groups but it is particularly cited by those over 45YO (48%, vs 21% among 18-25YO and 33% among 25-45YO).

These trends are not new, but the crisis seems to be acting as an accelerator. The French have rediscovered the time and pleasure of cooking, advantages of pick up and delivery services, and they have been able to appreciate the efforts of local producers. They will not turn back after the crisis. They want to adopt healthier, more balanced habits but also become aware of the impact of their purchases and wish to support the French economy and producers by buying local.

Stores Must Support These Changes

Stores, but also brands, must support the emerging trends.
Among the main expectations of French people towards their stores: choice , local , efficient pick up and delivery services , better inventory management to limit stockouts, stricter hygiene measures throughout the year, but also always low prices and promotions because it should not be forgotten that the health crisis also generated financial difficulties for many households.

If you want to know more about it, please get it touch.

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