10 charts from Bain on how consumer behaviour is changing

25 August 2020 Consultancy.eu 6 min. read

A new 100-page slide deck by Bain & Company provides an in-depth perspective on how consumer and shopper perceptions and behaviours of Europeans are changing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Ten charts with the most notable findings.


As the pandemic continues, consumers are still feeling high levels of disruption to their daily lives, but less so than they felt in May. 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted your daily life over the past 4 weeks?

Consumers are increasingly pessimistic on when the world will return to normal. 


Many Europeans feel financial security is at risk: over 40% respondents have had a reduction or loss in employment, and 40% have had a reduction in household income.

Have you had any changes to your employment or working hours as a result of COVID-19?


Despite being slightly less worrying about family illness, interestingly, approximately 40% of respondents are more concerned with their general health and well-being than before the pandemic, in part because they expect the impact of the pandemic to last longer than initially anticipated. 

How concerned are you about your general personal health/ well-being now compared with before COVID-19 began?


Over 40% of consumers are curtailing spending. On the one hand this is due to fewer opportunities to spend money, on the other hand this is due to conscious cutting back on non-essential and discretionary purchases.

I have postponed making certain purchases in the last 4 weeks specifically because I am concerned about the economy or my personal financial situation

As consumers are curtailing spending, certain services and activities have been harder hit – with grocery being protected as an essential

Over the last month, did you spent more, the same, or less money on the following services and activities than a typical month pre-COVID-19

When buying their grocery at stores, shoppers want hand sanitiser at entrance/exits, number of customers in store low, plexiglass at the cashier and employees in masks/gloves. 

What measures will food stores need to take so that you feel more comfortable about visiting to the physical store again?

Cooking at home is emerging as a major trend during Covid-19. Compared to the start of lockdown, consumers are cooking more often at home, and anticipate continued growth in the foreseeable future.

Thinking about the next 12-18 months as government restrictions continue to relax

Futher reading: Cooking at home becomes major trend coming out of Covid-19.

The online boom

Not surprisingly, the online channel is thriving. As lockdown has persisted consumers are shifting their purchasing of food items toward online and away from brick and mortar channels.

In the last month, have you shopped for grocery items

Similarly, for non-food items, consumers are shifting their purchasing toward online and away from brick and mortar channels. 

In the last month, have you shopped for non-food items...

About Bain & Company’s analysis

The researchers from Bain & Company – a global strategy and management consulting firm – teamed up with research house Dynata to survey over 7,800 Europeans in five countries: France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The survey was conducted from 9-17 July 2020, and polled respondents who were primary grocery shoppers for their household. 

In related news, a recent slide deck from L.E.K. Consulting sheds light on how Covid-19 is impacting South East Asian consumers, while another similar deck by McKinsey & Company outlines how UAE consumers are responding to Covid-19.