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As might be expected, there are high levels of concern among Asian consumers about the impact COVID-19 is having, both directly on their own lives and also on a global scale. According to Innova’s COVID-19 Consumer Survey (conducted in March 2020), in China, India and Indonesia, personal concerns center on health, personal income and the availability of healthcare and products to buy.

Personal health, and the health of family and friends, tops the list of concerns across all three countries, with impact on personal income/finances ranked as second. Indian consumers were the most concerned. 73 % of Indian consumers say that they were very concerned about their own and that of their family’s/friends’ health. This is compared with 58 % in China and 52 % in Indonesia.

Concerns over more global issues are led by healthcare and financial/economic uncertainty. Healthcare ranks the highest in India, with 79 % of respondents very concerned. Financial/economic uncertainty came out first in China and Indonesia, with 55 % and 68 % of respondents, respectively, saying that they were very concerned. Consumers in all three countries were also concerned about the impact on food and job security.

Changes in behavior driven by the pandemic include more working from home, more social media and online entertainment and even exercising inside the home, with lower levels of leaving the house, visiting cafes/bars and restaurants, travelling for business and pleasure and using public transportation.

Health considerations have become more influential on purchasing decisions, with consumers trying to eat more healthily and consuming products in a bid to boost immunity. These include ingredients such as turmeric in India, chrysanthemum and cordyceps flower in China and royal jelly, ginger and mint in Indonesia. Familiarity, comfort and improving mood are also seen as increasingly important factors for food and beverage choices during the crisis. Health, shelf-life and cost are taking on a greater significance with regard to purchasing decisions, while factors such as flavor and indulgence appear to be declining in importance. Innova Market Insight’s research indicated that the main changes in attitude/behavior in India and China included more cooking/preparing of homemade food, more healthy eating and more eating/drinking products to boost immune health.

Fresh fruit and vegetables and juices and nectars are some of the top categories benefiting from this trend, as consumers look to them as a means of boosting health. At the same time, consumers claimed to be purchasing lower levels of less healthy, indulgent and highly processed options, such as ice cream, pizza and cakes and pastries.

There has also been an acceleration in the growth of online grocery shopping as movements are restricted and physical stores cannot easily be accessed. The rise in grocery apps in China, for example, encompasses developments in supermarkets, dedicated grocery apps and food delivery platforms. Restaurants have been quick to offer home delivery, but many consumers are also willing to order online and go out and pick up takeout. In China, 37 % of consumers claimed to be ordering more restaurant/café food online, while 34 % were picking up takeout food and meals more often.

In today’s hyperconnected world, convenience is the ultimate currency

Rising internet penetration, denser urban locations, faster paced lifestyles and challenging working hours are adding more and more layers of complexity to consumers’ lives. According to the World Health Organization, “workplace stress is the health epidemic of the 21st century,” and multiple agencies have tracked the steady rise of anxiety related illnesses around the world. Consumers are feeling more stretched than ever before, and are increasingly striving for convenient solutions which help to simplify their busy lives.

Around the globe, consumers need and look for convenience in all forms—whether simplicity, time saving or suitability. When it comes to the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space, convenience is not only about store formats, products or packaging. It means more than the latest technologies or new engagement strategies. Rather, it is about every encounter, interaction and action that can help fulfil consumers’ growing demand for efficiency.

The Nielsen Quest for Convenience report looks at changing consumer needs around the world, specifically focusing on factors driving consumers’ increasing need for convenience, to provide global FMCG players with key insights, indicators and solutions to successfully tap into the rapidly rising need for convenience.

Please download the full report under: https://bit.ly/2o49gWu