The COVID-19 crisis is leading to increased consumer concerns over both mental wellbeing and weight gain, a new study by FMCG Gurus has found.
According to the research firm, this will likely lead to consumers placing more importance on health and wellness as the year progresses and coronavirus-related restrictions continue to ease.
The study surveyed 23,000 consumers across 18 countries in April, and then a further 23,000 consumers in May, to gauge changing expectations about the impact of coronavirus on their daily lives.
In May, some 71% of respondents said that they believed a 'second wave' of the virus was inevitable, while 51% said that they believe the virus will continue to impact their daily lives for at least 12 months, compared to 48% in April.
In addition, 72% of respondents said that they believed the global economy was heading towards recession, compared to 63% a month earlier.
As a result, 43% of respondents said that they have become more conscious about their mental wellbeing, up from 36% the previous month.
This in turn has led many consumers to turn to 'comfort foods' – 50% of respondents said they were snacking more (up from 38% in April), while 23% said that they are being less attentive about their calorie intake.
At the same time, though, one in three respondents (32%) have also become more conscious about their weight, compared to one in five (21%) in April.
'The reality is that over the next six-to-twelve months, consumers will simultaneously continue to turn to snack products for comfort purposes whilst also being concerned about the impact such habits are having on their weight,' FMCG Gurus said.
'This will result in consumers seeking out better-for-you snacks on a more regular basis that are free from dietary evils such as sugar, so that they can enjoy moments of indulgence that do not increase health concerns.'
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine