Consumption in the face of COVID-19

Buy a juice or a snack before arriving at the office. Go with friends to the movies or the theater to see the latest in entertainment. Have breakfast at a fast food chain on a weekend to vary the routine. These and more purchases that were previously daily for a segment of people is today a memory that produces stress, anxiety and depression.

Yesterday a well-known franchise asked its followers to support their adversaries (they named them one by one) by consuming their products. We have seen this type of request for support in small local brands that have a greater roots in their immediate environment. This measure may be a sign of the chain’s fatigue given the recent months of the doldrums.

COVID-19 has affected the consumption of most categories. The reasons are very varied and for each product or service the causes are specific. The general behavior in recent months has translated into a decrease in purchases due to the confinement measures that many countries have adopted and the decrease or loss of income for many people.

Businesses such as accommodation, restaurants, entertainment, tourism, and mid-range luxury services and products have suffered serious effects that have led to several units to take the final closure. Those who have not done so are close to doing so. In part this has fueled the demonstrations in various cities and that we have witnessed through the news in recent days.

It is true that at some point we will overcome this health emergency. However, when the emergency ends, the market will be different from the one we knew before having to use the mask correctly and regularly. It will be a moment to rethink the way in which trade has been developing so that it is more resilient and closer to new challenges.

Not everyone has had a bad time in this contingency. The pharmaceutical, disinfection supplies, and food industry have seen a rebound. However, this is temporary and will deflate as soon as normality is restored: whatever it is. It is time to start planning to face the world that awaits us the day the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over.

For this, it is a priority to have timely and detailed knowledge of what people expect from those who provide them. Market research is a fundamental activity since it provides the tools to design the response plan for that tomorrow that will come, but that at times we see very far … and it is not in reality.