Nothing like before: the consequences of Covid on purchasing behavior

Link: Food photo created by prostooleh -

The Corona pandemic and lockdown have had serious consequences for purchasing behaviour and decisions. Trends that were already recognisable at an early stage have intensified. Attributes such as regionality, sustainability, trust, safety, hygiene and health awareness have gained particular weight. Dwindling brand loyalty and growing online purchases are other dominant factors. For companies, the upheavals create an acute need for action with regard to the design and functionality of their packaging.


The Corona pandemic and various lockdowns are not only changing the mindset of consumers. They are also leading to massive changes in purchasing decisions and behaviour. A reversal is not to be expected. On the contrary, the prevailing trends are strengthening.

For the companies in the industry, the upheavals lead to an acute need for action. This is especially true for the aspects of design and functionality of packaging.


The changes in detail

The report “Coronavirus Consumer Survey Insights: Identifying regional differences” by GlobalData from November 2020 provides valuable insights into the changes in purchasing behaviour in times of the pandemic.



Consumers generally buy more consciously, regionally and sustainably in Corona times. The trend towards locally produced goods with locally sourced ingredients can be seen worldwide.



Trust is of great importance especially for European consumers. The purchase decision is strongly influenced by how familiar or trustworthy a product is. On a global level, products from Europe enjoy a particularly high level of trust.



Unsurprisingly, increased health awareness is a strong driver of purchasing decisions. Already a trend before, this development has intensified further. This is particularly evident in the USA and Latin America, but also to a somewhat lesser extent in Europe. Consumers in the emerging markets in particular are focusing on safe and hygienically packaged products.



Brand loyalty has suffered among consumers during the pandemic. Uncertainty about supply options in the face of impending lockdowns has led to empty shelves. Consumers were forced to give alternative brands they had not previously purchased a chance.



E-commerce was able to grow significantly globally during the pandemic. This also applies to the food sector, where European consumers were comparatively restrained compared to Asia.

With regard to the food segment, the sale of alcoholic beverages dominated online trade across Europe. In Asia and Latin America, on the other hand, the focus of growth was on household care and personal care.


Learnings for the industry

Purchase decisions during the Corona pandemic are characterised by the attributes of regionality, sustainability, trust, safety, hygiene and health consciousness while brand loyalty is decreasing. Corresponding products are increasingly in demand.

The fundamentally and dynamically growing market of online trade in particular requires specific, robust and dispatchable e-commerce solutions.

Despite the global increase in online commerce, companies are well advised to closely monitor the online shopping behaviour of consumers in individual regions and markets, especially to better identify market needs and to be able to react quickly to changes.

Without question, the upheavals in purchasing behaviour create a strong need for action, especially with regard to packaging design and packaging functionalities (e.g. more robust, more suitable for shipping, more hygienic…).

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