In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 upturned lives and livelihoods in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. One of the responses we’ve seen as people have adjusted and then readjusted to a new normal is a change in consumer behaviours. Lisa Cork reports in Matthews Intelligent Identification.
From online shopping to cashless transactions, remote experiences and mindfulness, many of these changes were happening anyway, but the coronavirus lockdown – and everything it brought with it – has moved them into the fast lane.
The important question now is: which habits are going to stick? And how can fresh produce companies respond and pivot to meet new demands and opportunities in a post-coronavirus future?
Research shows it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to form. That’s around nine weeks.
In Australia, the first major event – the Melbourne Grand Prix – was cancelled due to the coronavirus on 13 March. Within 24 hours, the shutdown had started. Some people had started restricting their activities before the official lockdown, which means people were in lockdown for some 10 weeks before restrictions eased.
That’s long enough for new habits to form.
So, when we talk about changes in consumer behaviour, we’re not talking about changes that will go away and be forgotten in a couple of months. These habits will stick.
Mindfulness has been bubbling as a megatrend for at least three years. For example, both the plant-based and protein trends are happening on a foundation of mindfulness. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated mindfulness, and it is a consumer change that is likely to stick around. The driving forces behind the mindful consumer is not hard to understand.
The coronavirus lockdown meant we were confronted with ourselves – the good, the bad and the ugly.