Shopping behaviour during Covid-19

Posted by Filipa Silverio on Apr 03, 2020

Rather than data, this week I have summarised my take-outs and actions based

on the latest FMCG shopping behaviour in Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK.

These learnings cover the period up to weeks 12 and 13.


Pre and post lockdown shopping behaviour

  • Pre lockdown stock up – could be more trips but definitely larger baskets.
  • Post lockdown – could be lower frequency and/or smaller basket sizes aligned to lockdown rules and local trade structure plus minimising going out.
  • Pre lockdown – Basic foods and Beverages needs plus Household especially cleaning, less Personal Care.
  • Basic food‘ categories will vary by country – a
    basic food in one country isn’t necessarily the same elsewhere.
  • Post lockdown demand will drop back but some categories will continue to benefit whilst the crisis lasts – breakfasting;
    ingredients for home cooking and baking; supplies for kids and people working from home.


Trade channel and demographics

  • Trade channel impact dependent on lock down rules. For example: how far can I go to shop?
  • Generally expect nearby shops to benefit – could be local corner stores, could be supermarkets or discounters if close by. Examples: small local stores in Italy, Dia and regional supermarkets in Spain, small stores, Discounters and Supermarkets in the UK.
  • FMCG online will grow but not as much as everyone expects – inability to meet demand; online infrastructure not available. Examples: UK online not meeting demand and disappointing customers, lower growth than other channels; very small internet availability outside France and UK.
  • By demographic group, the biggest impact will be where out of home or meal delivery was greatest beforehand – could be younger age groups in many cases.



  • Make sure your brand is noticed – maintain share of advertising (in the right way and tone); in-store.
  • Availability – especially in proximity stores; and correct range to cater for current different demographic needs and price points.
  • Innovation – maintain and/or increase especially aligned to the new needs and circumstances.
  • Maintain share of promotion.