Lounge Shopper

How did Grocery Shopping Habits Change During Lockdown?

We all experienced dramatic changes to our daily lives throughout the lockdown period, and we’ve all found different ways to cope with the upheaval. But, what was the overall impact on UK food shopping behaviour, and how did it affect the way we plan and eat our meals? 

Shopping Behaviour Changed, But the Shops Didn’t

Our attitudes towards and experience of shopping was clearly very different under lockdown – 97% of shoppers planned more carefully when to shop, and 89% said they were thinking more about what to shop for. Sixty-one per cent were using a list when they shopped, and almost all found that shopping was taking longer, with queueing to get into the store becoming the new norm. 

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority (74%) said that they were finding shopping to be more stressful during lockdown.

However, the stores (both supermarkets and local specialist food stores) that were being used appear to be largely the same – only the Co-op showed any significant increase in penetration, probably due to its proliferation of stores within the heartland of local communities.

People were also overwhelmingly positive about the way in which their supermarkets coped during the lockdown period: over 90% of people agreed that “supermarkets have done really well to keep feeding people during this crisis”.

Familiar Home Comforts

Life might have changed, but many of us were trying as hard as possible to maintain as much normality as we possibly could. Familiar ‘comfort’ foods were cited as being the things they sought out and were enjoying most – no surprise too that with trips to pubs, bars and clubs off the agenda, alcohol sales are up and in-home consumption of booze is increasing, as are crisps, chocolate and biscuits. People have been finding ways to get hold of their essentials, such as getting their wine online instead of going to their local supermarket if they were shielding. 

The simple pleasure of a roast dinner on a Sunday – another key anchor point in this disrupted new world – and barbecues featuring a good old British banger were also on the agenda for many.

Focus on Wellbeing

The onset of Covid-19 does appear to have made us even more conscious of the need to take care of our physical health, so the increase in the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the desire to cook more nutritious meals, is another readily understandable consequence of the lockdown.

People have said that they were doing more home baking and cooking from scratch – this is both delivering comfort and a greater sense of wellbeing. Being in full control of ingredients and preparing ‘fresh’ meals provided the opportunity to ensure that our families were getting the best possible nutrition, as well as occupying the greater time that many of us had.

Chance for Less Familiar Brands

Only a quarter of shoppers claimed that they remained completely loyal to their favourite brands during lockdown, whilst 82% of shoppers said they would have bought any brand that was available if there was a product they really needed.

This opens up the possibility that less familiar brands that are available in store may have had more of an opportunity to be bought, tried and enjoyed.

For those brands that have been struggling under the shadow of more established competitors, it offered a real opportunity to expand their user audience and build a more secure franchise.

part of the Livetech Group celebrating 10 years service
mini community

This is a 

powered by the minisite web design platform