A leading analyst believes elevated off-premise sales during COVID-19 will continue after on-premise restrictions are lifted.
Evans & Partners analyst Phil Kimber said in a report to clients that Australia’s food and liquor operators were benefiting from shoppers switching from eating out at restaurants and cafes to home dining.
“We expect grocery players will continue to benefit from the shift from out-of-home consumption to in-home consumption over the remainder of fiscal 2020 and well into fiscal 2021,’’ Kimber said.
“It’s difficult to accurately assess the benefit from this channel shift, however as detailed in this note, a 50% switch away from cafes/restaurants would add around 4 % to supermarket sales in fiscal 2021 and a 35% switch from on-premise liquor would add around 8% to liquor store sales.
“Both supermarkets and liquor are expected to be seen as an essential service thus the risks of enforced store shutdowns are low.”
Overall, CBA data shows that alcohol spending in Australia has fallen since the on-premise shutdown.
Asian consumers rethink how they eat post COVID-19
Consumers across Asia have signaled their eating habits may change permanently once the world moves beyond the impact of COVID-19.
A Nielsen study of 11 Asian markets found that on the Chinese mainland, 86% of respondents said they would eat at home more often than before the outbreak. In other markets, a similar trend was observed, with 77% of consumers in Hong Kong planning to eat at home more often than before the event, and in South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, that number was 62%, respectively.
“In a number of Asian markets, sales are regularly exceeding 20-25% of the average weekly sales across FMCG every week since the end of January. Consumers have been back to the same store multiple times, so this behaviour is beyond panic buying. There is no doubt consumers have moved away from an ‘on-the-go lifestyle’ to more of a ‘safe in-home consumption’ trend,” said Vaughan Ryan, Managing Director Southeast Asia, Nielsen.
The company added: “Whilst consumer behavior across markets in the immediate terms has definitely changed, the subsequent question is ‘when will it return to normal?’ The answer may well be never.”
As Chinese mainland returns from quarantine conditions, another Nielsen research study from the Chinese mainland, Nielsen Social Intelligence Survey on Coronavirus, showed respondents are emerging with more of a “homebody” mindset, where health and technology are factors that will influence consumer spending and shopping habits in the short and longer term.