Diet and supplements to increase immunity

A study by InsightsNow examined the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on diet responses and choices of U.S. primary shoppers identified to be driving the clean label movement, specifically those following a Ketogenic diet. Thirty-six percent of participants mentioned that they are making changes in their diet and supplements to increase their immunity. Of these, 65% are taking more vitamins and supplements, specifically Vitamin C and Zinc. Twenty-one percent responded that they are adding more fruits and vegetables to their diet, with 11% specifically mentioning they have added citrus fruits.

The research was conducted on March 12-21.

U.K. renters feeling impact of coronavirus

Opinium Research surveyed 2,002 U.K. adults to learn how COVID-19 is impacting renters. More than half (58%) of renters who were working before the COVID-19 outbreak have found that their employment has been impacted in some way. Of all renters who were previously working, 25% have been put on furlough and another 17% say they’ve suffered a loss to their usual earnings. Half (48%) of renters are worried about the stability of their living situation, and 43% say they’ve struggled to pay for rent, bills and other essentials like food. Of the renters whose work has been impacted by the outbreak, 25% say they have either had to voluntarily leave their home, move in with friends or parents, or request for their tenancy to end earlier than planned to avoid paying rent. Landlords, too, are worried about the economic impacts of the outbreak, with 73% saying that they’re concerned their tenants won’t be able to pay all of part of their rent.

The research was conducted April 3-6, 2020. Read more.

COVID-19 may affect U.S. cannabis consumption 

A survey of 1,000 U.S. cannabis consumers, conducted by research firm SoapBoxSample, shows that about half (51%) of respondents are somewhat or very concerned that their personal supply will run out during the recommended quarantine. While some report consuming more cannabis as a way to relieve COVID-19-related stress and anxiety, others are reporting consuming and purchasing less because they want to avoid going out in public to make purchases. Of those who said they are consuming more cannabis than usual since the pandemic, the top reasons include stress relief (60%) and to ease anxiety (57%).

Fifty-seven present of respondents who obtain cannabis through legal dispensaries have noticed changes in stores, including seeing social distancing practices (50%) and dispensaries offering online and pickup orders (41%).

The research was conducted on March 21-24, 2020. Read more.

Perceptions of coronavirus across sub-Saharan Africa

GeoPoll conducted a study of 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to learn how the coronavirus is affecting people throughout the region. Each country had a sample size of 400, except for the Democratic Republic of Congo, which had 350. Level of concern over the outbreak is high in all countries, with 72% overall reporting that they are “very concerned” over COVID-19. Sixty-three percent believe that they or their families are at risk of contracting the disease, with this percentage being the lowest in Rwanda and Benin and highest in Mozambique and Zambia. Seventy-one percent of respondents reported that they are very concerned about the economic effects of coronavirus, with 26% listing this as their biggest concern pertaining to the outbreak. This was only slightly behind the 27% who state that contracting the disease is their biggest concern.

Most (96%) of respondents say they’ve taken preventative measures to protect themselves from the coronavirus, with half (54%) saying that they’ve increased hygiene, 20% reporting that they are working from home and 18% saying that they are avoiding public transit. Seventy percent of respondents reported that they are self-quarantining, with this number being the highest in South Africa (91%) and Rwanda (90%) and the lowest in Benin and Tanzania at 57% and 58%, respectively.

The research was conducted April 2-9, 2020. Read more.

Fans reluctant about returning to live sporting events 

As unprecedented shutdowns continue to cause the sports industry to press pause, a new poll by Morning Consult asked 1,512 self-identified sports fans when they believe they will be ready to attend a live sporting event. A majority of fans expect professional and college sports to resume before they are comfortable attending games themselves: 72% of respondents believe play will resume by the end of 2020, but fewer than half expect to feel comfortable going to live sporting events by that point. Thirty percent of respondents don’t know when they’ll be comfortable attending a sporting event again.

Only 16% of respondents said sports organizations should resume play as soon as possible, even if that means playing in empty buildings. A majority (70%) want sports leagues to wait to resume playing until the pandemic is contained and it’s safe for fans to attend games.

The research was conducted on April 3-5, 2020. Read more.

Americans maintain quarantine equilibrium

The fifth wave of a study by Ipsos polled 1,098 Americans on their perceptions and behavior as many Americans have been under lockdown for several weeks. This week, 57% of Americans still working out in the world feel that their jobs are a moderate or large risk to their health. Of those working from home, only 13% say the same. However, those working in the world are also less likely to report using a mask (44%) compared to the average of all Americans of 56%.

Americans see traveling by airplane or mass transit to be the most risky behavior (91%), followed by in-person gatherings of friends/family outside of the home (81%), going to the grocery store (70%), doing their job (39%), having food delivered to their home (28%) and having online purchases delivered to their home (10%). About one in five American now know someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, though this number is highest in the northeast region (31%) and lowest in the south (18%).

Americans are finding more time for quality leisure, though, with two in five (43%) spending more time talking with their family compared to a month ago. A similar level (41%) report spending more time on home improvement or craft projects. Over half (53%) report watching more television in the last month. On the downside, 16% say the amount or intensity of disagreements with family or friends has increased in the last month. This is particularly true among those who have been furloughed or laid off (26%).

The research was conducted April 10-13, 2020. Read more.

Americans support brands making an impact

Wave five of research firm Mindshare’s study on the COVID-19 situation in America shows 78% of respondents would support a brand that has taken action and made a big impact for communities impacted by COVID-19. More than 65% of respondents believe it is appropriate or very appropriate for the following brand categories to take action: pharmaceutical (79%), health care (79%), food (75%), personal care (70%), utility service (69%), restaurant (67%) and financial service (65%). Forty-seven percent of consumers are aware of brands helping in the crisis.

The study also shows that news and health content consumption are on the decline as Americans focus in on food and home content. In fact, 38% of respondents have “limited my time on media because I don’t want to read any more news about coronavirus.” So what are they doing instead? Fifty-eight percent of respondents are watching movies at home (compared to 21% in wave one, conducted on March 11, 2020). Twenty-one percent of Americans under 40 have started a new hobby (e.g., baking, cooking, learning skills). Americans are also using time at home to practice self-care, with 30% of respondents under 40 having practiced self-care (vs. 20% of Americans 40+).

The research was conducted on April 6, 2020. Read more.

Grocery shopping behavior in the U.S. and U.K.

GlobalWebIndex surveyed internet users aged 16-64 in the U.S. (2,004) and U.K. (1,538) to learn how the coronavirus is impacting grocery shopping behavior. About half (49%) of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. have increased their spending on grocery shopping since the outbreak, though 20% have spent less and 31% are staying about the same. While price-conscious consumers are spending less, self-defined savers are spending more – even more than impulse buyers, in fact. Higher-income consumers are slightly more likely to be increasing their spending on grocery shops compared to lower earners (57% vs. 51%), and men (53%) are also slightly more likely than women (45%) to be doing so.

A third (35%) of respondents are worried they will run out of food and other essentials and 45% say that they're worried about the availability of items in stores. Another 30% say they try to order online as much as possible, an effort let by 37% of Gen Xs and 24% of baby boomers. Half (54%) of respondents say they want to limit the number of times they have to go to the grocery store, and 27% say that they’re anxious that they’ll be stuck at home for a while.

The research was conducted April 2-6, 2020. Read more.

Shift in shopping, financial planning

Thirty-eight percent of consumers say that they will support local businesses more in the future according to the second wave of an ongoing study by AMC Global and OpinionRoute focusing on consumer perceptions during COVID-19. In terms of current shopping habits, the third wave of the study shows availability is driving consumer purchases, with 65% of respondents citing it as the major driver in grocery product purchases, and 74% for household items. Brand and price were still important in many categories, with baby food and formula showing the highest importance of brand (58%) and price (53%), followed by pet food with brand (52%) and price (45%).

The second wave looked at changes in financial planning, with 37% of respondents shifting toward more saving and budgeting during the pandemic. Twelve percent of respondents reported making charitable donations.

The second wave of the research was conducted on April 3-5, 2020. Read more. The third wave was conducted April 10-12. Read more.

How Americans are managing their investments

Voya Financial partnered with Ipsos to survey 1,000 U.S. adults to learn more about their behavior surrounding their finances. The majority of Americans (71%) feel nervous about their finances, though most individuals (86%) feel that “staying on course” and having a long-term view on their investments (85%) is important. This is higher among those who were working with a professional advisor (96%) and those who participate in a retirement savings plan (93%).

From a generational standpoint, continuing retirement plan contributions was seen as more important to younger consumers as 80% and 79% of those ages 18-34 and 35-54, respectively, said it was either “extremely important” or “important” to contribute to their retirement plan. This falls to 66% for those aged 55 and over. Women were also more likely (90%) than men (81%) to “stay on course.”

The research was conducted Jan. 1 – March 31, 2020. Read more.

Impact of COVID-19 on small businesses 

Balboa Capital surveyed U.S. small businesses on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, revealing that 88% of small businesses are being impacted. Seventy-two percent of small business owners expect their revenues to decrease during the first six months of 2020, and 16% expect their revenues to remain flat. Sixty-six percent of small business owners are not moving forward with their Q2 investment plans. Six in 10 small business owners said their supply chain has been affected.

A majority (54%) of small business owners said some (or all) of their employees are working from home, with 38% of companies reporting remaining open in a full capacity and 8% reporting they have temporarily closed their companies.

The research was conducted the first week of April, 2020.

Americans looking forward to post-pandemic activities

Research from Savanta surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults and learned what people are looking forward to after the pandemic has subsided. Consumers are most excited to visit friends and family again (65%) once they’re able, though another top choice is eating in a restaurant (47%). A third (33%) say they’re most looking forward to going shopping in stores, followed by going on vacation (31%), going back to work (29%), going to places of worship (27%) and eating different food (17%).

When it comes to where Americans plan to spend their money once businesses open up again, eating out is a top contender (69%), as well as day trips with family (43%), entertainment outside the home (41%), personal grooming (35%) and clothes/fashion (34%). As for when consumers will be able to spend on these items again, things are uncertain – 53% believe that the government should do more to enforce self-isolation, and 64% think the government needs to be cautious and keep as much closed as possible. However, 19% believe that government’s response to the coronavirus has been an over-reaction and that people should be allowed back to work, while 17% think that the worst is over and stores should be reopened.

The research was conducted April 4-6, 2020.

View Part 2 of Quirk's COVID-19: Survey Monitor series.