Consumer concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) was “tentative,” according to a March 4 survey conducted by the Consumer Brands Association (CBA), with 37% saying they were “very concerned.” Today, that number has risen to 54%.
The CBA has been conducting a weekly consumer survey since early March and the results show how consumer concern and shopping patterns have shifted. In the weeks since COVID-19 spread across the country, the percentage of consumers who reported stocking staples jumped to 67% from 22%. In addition, the weekly survey showed an increasing number of Americans seeking options that do not require in-store shopping. On March 4, 18% reported buying online or using delivery services like Instacart or Amazon Fresh. Today, that number has risen to 39%.
“This pandemic has impacted every American, changing our daily lives in unprecedented ways,” says Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the CBA. “While Americans’ concerns about the coronavirus and their ability to access essential products is high, we’re beginning to see slight declines in both, indicating a shift in sentiment and experiences around our ‘new normal.’”
Most US consumers have at least a week or more supply of goods, but access to essential products is still a substantial concern. More than 70% of the consumers surveyed said they are concerned about having access to food and beverage products, with 67% expressing concern over access to household products, cleaning supplies (63%) and over-the-counter medicines (62%). The current numbers, however, are lower than the prior week’s survey, showing that while access concerns are still prevalent, more Americans may be seeing stocked shelves in stores again, according to the CBA.
“The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is committed to meeting consumers’ needs for daily essentials, lending as much normalcy to their lives as it can,” Freeman says. “Ensuring Americans have access to the products they depend on every day is our top priority. Consumer Brands is intensely focused on removing barriers to access and keeping the CPG supply chain moving.”