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Is Consumer Reluctance Easing?

Bain & Company research suggests that consumers are not yet ready to resume out-of-home activities.

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Is Consumer Reluctance Easing?
People are cautious about returning to activities that involve human proximity

Consumers in the US and Europe remain highly reluctant to reengage in their everyday activities. Consumers surveyed in July indicated that they anticipated spending even more time at home than they had indicated in May. More than half of all respondents said that they were less likely to take a busy bus or train, travel by plane, take a foreign holiday, or go to a bar or a restaurant over the next 12 to 18 months than they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Baby boomers and Generation Xers responded that they were even more reluctant to participate in most activities with close social contact than their millennial and Generation Z counterparts were.

This reluctance will further spur the gains made by online grocery over the course of the pandemic. An overwhelming majority of consumers expect to continue shopping online—only 15% in the US and 11% in Europe reported that they expect to shop online less in the future. As a result, the adoption of online grocery will be accelerated by two to five years in the US and Western Europe, according to Bain research.

At the same time, the closure of bars, restaurants, stadiums, gyms and other on-site venues will push back recent gains made by out-of-home foodservice by three to five years, according to Bain analysis. And this could be up to seven years in a worst-case scenario, depending on the length of the pandemic as well as government and social responses.

Our research is based on a panel of approximately 9,500 consumers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, and was conducted in partnership with Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data and insights platform.

About the Research

Data powered by Dynata, a leading global first-party data and insights platform.

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