Acosta, an integrated sales and marketing services provider in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, released findings from its most recent COVID-19 shopper insights study. The research found that while the pandemic concern level is finally on the decline, shoppers acknowledge it will be a long time before things return to normal. Shopping and eating behaviors dramatically changed last year, and many shoppers plan to continue those new habits post-COVID-19.
"With vaccines rolling out, our latest shopper research shows COVID-19 concern levels may finally be waning, with current concern at 7.5 out of 10 — the lowest level reported since early March 2020. Even still, consumers realize there is a long road ahead. Thirty-five percent of shoppers think 'normal' is more than a year away," said Colin Stewart, executive vice president, business intelligence at Acosta. "What's more, many behaviors developed during the pandemic will be here to stay. Post-COVID-19, 75% of consumers plan to stick with at least some of their new habits."
Grocery Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic provides insights on the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic, including:
Shopping and Eating Behavior Changes Caused by the Pandemic
Shopper behaviors shifted drastically in 2020:

• 65% of shoppers reported cooking more at home
• 53% of shoppers reported spending less time in stores
• 50% of shoppers reported stocking up on food/cleaning supplies
• 48%of shoppers reported spending more money per shopping trip
• 40% of shoppers reported more online shopping
• Post-Pandemic Shopping Outlook
When asked about their shopping intentions post-COVID-19:

• 21% of shoppers reported they will go back to their pre-pandemic habits
• 59% of shoppers said they will continue with some of their new habits
• 16% of shoppers said they will continue with all or most of their new habits
• 4% of shoppers are not sure what they will do

Post-pandemic, top priorities for shoppers will be: product availability (60%), low prices (52%) and customer safety (42%).
Acosta's research was gathered via online surveys using the company's proprietary shopper community between December 30, 2020 and January 4, 2021. Acosta also released a 10-part COVID-19 shopper insights series in 2020, covering the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic.