Habits developed during the lockdowns have led to weight gain among many consumers and a high ratio of respondents who will continue to wear masks in shops and avoid going out even in 2022, according to a new survey by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA).
The survey recorded the significant effects of the pandemic and specifically of the lockdowns on the dietary habits of consumers who were stuck at home. According to its findings, 38% of respondents said they have put on weight in the last 12 months, against just 15% who claimed to have lost weight. Almost one in four (24%) said their nutrition deteriorated last year, against 14% who said it improved.
The findings point to a negative balance in dietary habits during lockdown. Even though cooking at home mostly benefited the quality of food consumed, other factors such as food deliveries and the lack of exercise offset the benefits – and this will take time to change.
Purchasing habits will also take some time to revert to pre-pandemic patterns. The IELKA survey found that only 12% of respondents have stopped wearing a face mask in stores, 19% is ready to stop immediately and 29% will stop within 2021, with the rest continuing to cover up next year as well. One in three respondents, moreover, will continue to avoid going out, which illustrates the persistent sense of risk this entails for many people.
The penetration of antiseptic products among consumers has also been considerable, as 24% said they will never stop carrying them wherever they go.
Regarding habits related to supermarket visits and the avoidance of crowds, the IELKA survey revealed that 58% of consumers will continue to try visit retailers on days and times that have little or no congestion, a habit that just 20% is currently immune to. A considerable 47% will continue to avoid queues and other congestion points in a store, with just 16% not sharing that concern today.
One in six (16%) declared they will continue to wear face masks in supermarkets (which currently remains compulsory) even after the return to normality, and another 38% say they do not know what they will do.