Photo: Danish Agriculture & Food Council

Covid-19: Values and consumers on the move

There can be no doubt that coronavirus has already resulted in major changes to our society. How will the virus impact consumer behaviour?

The whole world is affected by Covid-19. The Danish Agriculture & Food Council’s Chief Analyst, Per Vesterbæk, analyses consumer behaviour and has offered the following comments on the impact of Covid and Danish consumers. In addition, the UK’s WGSN, a trend forecasting company, has produced six interesting value changes in the wake of the corona crisis.

"Although communities in Denmark are gradually opening up, there are still many consumers whose normal daily life continues to be on hold. They are working from home, home-schooling their children and with a restricted social life. It is likely that this will result in a changed approach to food in that consumers will return to what is familiar and reassuring - food that will bring everyone in the household together. This could mean that consumers go back to basics and switch to more well-known and trusted brands, opting for producers and categories that engender a sense of comfort and security in terms of food safety,” says Per Vesterbæk. "At the same time, we’re also seeing a certain polarisation. Social media is full of Danes taking exercise and sharing recipes featuring healthy food products. The fact we’re spending more time at home than ever before may well give rise to entirely new habits.”

Read also: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the food industry

Changing values
The UK’s trend forecasting company, WGSN, has also analysed the change in values that is currently taking place. They have put together a number of observations that all relate to the impact the corona crisis is having on consumer preferences and choices. 

• Acceleration of digitalisation
More consumers will be using digital services to avoid any unnecessary human contact.

• Proximity
More consumers will demonstrate a sense of community and will want to support local businesses - particularly those affected by the corona crisis.

• Community-building
More consumers will be motivated to engage in a dialogue with a local business to reduce the perceived distance between them.

• Transparency
Consumers will be even more aware of certifications, food safety, quality and origin, i.e. products they can trust.

• Goodness as a currency
The feeling of being part of something bigger will add value to products. Consumers will reward charitable brands that reflect their personal values.

• Need for a sense of security
Consumers are looking for places where they can escape from reality and experience home comforts and well-being.

Source: "Coronavirus: Global Change Accelerators” by WGSN
(this is an extract from a members only report.)