There are many unknowns about the industry post- COVID-19 as well as what the “new normal” will truly look like for consumers and retailers that have been affected by the pandemic. What retailers – and specifi cally, Private Brands – can prepare for is how they are going to address the fundamental shifts in consumer shopping and spending behaviors because of COVID-19.

Social Distancing: As states reopen, maintaining a safe distance will remain a priority for consumers in their shopping and food consumption habits, thereby making the home the center of eating and entertaining. In an April 2020 survey, nearly 60% of consumers report they plan to eat at home more and only 25% expect to eat out as frequently as they had before. With plans to eat at home more, over half of shoppers report that they are seeking better mealtime solutions.

Altered Brand and Shopping Behavior: Vast out-of-stocks forced shoppers to change brands and preferred stores, with new competitors entering the mix. In the past few months, 70% of shoppers reported purchasing a new or different brand than they had pre-COVID, with nearly 30% reporting a positive experience after switching brands and intending to maintain these purchasing shifts. There has also been a greater shift to online shopping, with 49% of consumers reporting they will shop online, versus 42% in agreement prior to the crisis. As foodservice competitors have emerged as new competitors in the grocery space, this also highlights an opportunity for grocery retailers to step up their game.

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