As the COVID-19 pandemic has passed its peak in many countries and consumers embrace the concept of the “new normal,” they are re-evaluating what is important to them in life. 

Consumers are increasingly feeling they did not spend as much time with loved ones as they would have liked. They have reflected on this at the peak of the pandemic, along with the recognition that certain demographics are vulnerable to serious complications from the virus. As such, with consumers being allowed to see loved ones again, they will seek out products that help maximize personal relationships.

Prior to the pandemic, consumer lifestyles were increasingly governed by time-scarcity, with consumers often feeling they did not have a good life balance. However, disruption to daily life because of COVID-19 has resulted in consumers reflecting on this. 

For instance, 59 percent of 23,000 consumers surveyed across 18 countries said they were worried about the virus impacting the health and wellness of loved ones. Meanwhile, 41 percent say they have become more concerned about their mental wellbeing. 

These two figures suggest how high levels of uncertainty are resulting in consumers becoming more conscious about things they previously may have taken for granted. As consumers look for moments of escapism from these pressures, they are re-evaluating what is important to them.

FMCG Gurus research shows throughout the pandemic consumers have looked for ways to maximize personal relationships with loved ones. For instance, 59 percent of consumers said they communicated with friends and loved ones more via online channels, while 40 percent said they have made greater efforts to sit down and eat together as a family. 

Finally, 37 percent have looked to replicate “big nights out” at-home. These occasions offer moments of escapism and comfort, reflected in the choice of products consumers can turn to for such occasions. More than half of consumers (56 percent) say they have purchased more comfort foods such as confectionery over the period.

As restrictions on movement continue to be lifted – though at the same time 74 percent believe a second wave of the virus is inevitable – greater attempts will be made to spend time socializing with loved ones face-to-face for moments of escapism. The confectionery industry can capitalize on this, launching products that are positioned around sharing and encouraging consumers to make the effort to spend uninterrupted time with loved ones. 

Central to all this, confectionery brands should push the message of non-material wealth and spending quality time with loved ones, and the positive impact this can have on mental wellbeing.

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