The value of an umbrella

Consumer spending trends as pandemic lockdowns continue

It goes without saying that 2020 was a turbulent deluge. The list of crises seemed to be ever increasing, and the COVID-19 pandemic only brought the water level higher. Most of society was barely able to keep their heads above the floodline.

While enduring this seemingly constant rain that prevented us from going outside and enjoying certain aspects of life, many of us adapted to exclusively living and working from home for the foreseeable future. This affected how and where we were willing to spend our money and our time.

Retail brands that will survive the pandemic, as it carries into a new year, need to acknowledge that consumers must find what makes them happy, productive, and connected amid the torrential downpour. Based on current projections of vaccine distribution, these consumer spending habits will likely continue through a majority of 2021. To keep up with these behaviors, brands need to innovate their products or services to better help their customers. Consumers will remain loyal to the brands that have become vital to their lockdown routines – may it be another virtual happy hour or home improvement project. And the last thing those consumers are looking for is another “we’re all in this together” slogan.

When someone is traveling through a shitstorm, they would find more use out of an umbrella than words of encouragement.

So, where did consumers spend their time and money during lockdown in 2020?


At the beginning of lockdown, the sales of candyspirits, and beer increased by double-digit percentages. Sales also increased on streaming service subscriptions and video games. For example, the anticipation of the release of PlayStation 5 has only been fueled by the conditions under which gamers have found themselves over the past year. These may not have been the healthiest or most productive pastimes, but during periods of great stress and uncertainty, we tend to do things that make us feel happy or help distract us.

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11 April 2023

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