spending patterns

Nielsen: expected COVID-19 spending patterns

March 18, 2020
By Alana House

Nielsen has established a dedicated microsite to keep retailers and suppliers up to date with the impact of COVID-19 on consumer spending patterns and behaviour.

In the eight weeks since China confirmed its first case of the outbreak and the virus began to spread, Nielsen has been globally and locally measuring record-breaking sales of health-safety products, such as medical masks and sanitisers. It has also seen a ripple effect triggering broader consumer purchase behaviours as the number of reported COVID-19 cases increase around the world, including here in Australia and New Zealand.

Among the topics covered on the new microsite are: COVID-19: The Unexpected Catalyst for Tech AdoptionStaying put: consumers forced indoors during crisis spend more time on mediaCOVID-19 concerns are a likely tipping point for local brand growth; and “Pandemic pantries”: pressure supply chain amid COVID-19 fears.

A Nielsen investigation has identified six key consumer behavior threshold levels that tie directly to concerns around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“The thresholds offer early signals of spending patterns, particularly for emergency pantry items and health supplies, and we are seeing these patterns being mirrored across multiple markets,” Nielsen said.

Correlating COVID-19 news events, such as public health announcements and government press conferences with consumer spending on items such as hand sanitisers and shelf-stable foods, reveals a series of recurring patterns.

“These patterns (though still evolving), when reviewed across impacted countries, help provide a set of leading indicators for packaged goods manufacturers and retailers faced with supply issues as they race to meet record levels of demand and changing purchase habits,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen COVID-19 spending patterns

In recent days, the US has also experienced panic buying in the liquor sector.

US alcohol delivery service Drizly says its sales have increased by 50% since news of the coronavirus began to spread and customers began panic buying.

Click here to view the latest Nielsen COVID-19 updates.

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