When asked what activities people would feel most comfortable doing within two weeks of social distancing restrictions being lifted, 57% said they want to spend time with friends and family, followed by 37% both wanting to go shopping in stores or malls, and to visit a hair salon, according to a national survey conducted by Mindshare the week of April 13. The survey also found that at this juncture in the health crisis, Americans are more worried, sad, stressed and frustrated than at any other point so far in the pandemic, but they are feeling slightly less anxious and overwhelmed than in previous weeks.

In following the social distancing and public health guidelines, face masks have become quite popular.

LET’S TRY SOMETHING NEW

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a shortage of some of our favorite go to brands. This has forced many people out of their comfort zones and made them more willing to try something new. Nearly two-thirds of American consumers say they are missing one or more of the brands they haven’t been able to buy during the pandemic and are trying alternative brands instead, according to the Mindshare survey.

The verdict? Consumers have found that they like the new brands or items they may have otherwise not given a try with 65% likely to continue purchasing new brands and 59% willing to give new services a try even after the pandemic ends. The survey results suggest that people are willing to break loyalties, meaning temporary shortages could lead to new brands or services becoming mainstays for the long-term.

The survey also found that Millennials and high-income earners are most likely to try new brands or services, and that those of Gen X are most likely to continue buying new brands after the health crisis ends.

Further, 57% of high-income earners are spending less amid the health crisis, while 44% of lower-income earners are spending less, according to April 20 data from the Morning Consult Coronavirus Outbreak Tracker. 22% of high-income earners feel like now is a good time to make a major household purchase compared to 15% of lower-income workers.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING DECLINING

Advertising rates on YouTube have dropped more than 20% from highs earlier this year according to DigiDay.com.

Facebook advertising is also declining amid the COVID-19 crisis and despite attempts to encourage spending on the platform, the cost to reach 1,000 users dropped between 15% to 20% from February to March, according to an April 10 article in The Wall Street Journal.

EAT, DRINK AND STAY HOME

The focus of staying at home is totally on food as we are stocking up on snacks, researching take-out options and which restaurants are delivering right now. Virtual wine tastings and happy hours are also trending.

 PET ADOPTION ON THE RISE

A surge in animal adoptions has led to a rise in consumer spending on pet products and services according to an April 20 article from AdWeek. Online pet retailer, Chewy, expects first quarter sales in 2020 to be about $1.5 billion, an increase of 36% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The Dodo, a digital media brand that features inspirational animal content, has seen triple-digit growth in watch time and views on YouTube during the last six weeks.

HOW LONG WILL ECONOMIC PROBLEMS LAST?

71% say the current economic problems will last more than six months, including 39% who say that they will last a year or more. Only 9% think the current economic situation will pass in three months, while 19% expect the problems to last four to six months.

THE GULF SOUTH INDEX

The Gulf South Index is a cooperative project between The Ehrhardt Group, a public relations, content, issues and crisis firm, and Causeway Solutions, a nationally recognized research and data analysis company, that are both based in the Gulf South. When the rest of the country may be zigging, we want to know if the Gulf South will zag and why, sharing that insight with you.

See anything interesting here? Feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.

Want to know more about the findings from today? Contact us at info@tegpr.com.

HOW DID WE FIND THIS STUFF OUT?

We cannot comment on the methodology of the surveys and research we did not conduct, which is why we do our best to link to the source articles or studies that we share here.

Have questions or comments for the Gulf South Index team, contact us at info@tegpr.com.