Since September 2020 our New-Era tracker has been tracking changes in consumer behaviour throughout the pandemic and monitoring how they have been changing throughout lockdown 2 & 3.  The key areas focused on are food choices, shopping habits, social activities, and views on the economy.

Each month we attain the views of 100 respondents across the UK and then we review these insights on a quarterly basis.  In Q1 2021 (January-March) the key insights recorded were:

Food Choices

  • Q1 may have seen a slight dip in those cooking from scratch, but an increase was recorded in those part cooking, which may have been encouraged by current promotions offered by companies such as Hello Fresh and Gousto.
  • Consumers participated in a healthy lifestyle, enjoying a well-balanced diet (4 days each week on average).

Shopping Instore

  • Q1 saw a slight increase in stockpiling, most likely provoked by #Lockdown3 fears.

Frozen Category Instore

  • Interest in the frozen categories continues to grow with a slight increase in those browsing the frozen fruit & veg, and frozen meat & fish aisles.

Online Shopping

  • A slight increase in the frequency of consumers shopping online for food was recorded in Q1, most likely an impact of #Lockdown3.

Eating Out

  • The lockdown restrictions had an obvious impact on eating out spend in Q1, but excitement was seen to increase towards being able to go out again.
  • Even with the cold weather appeal of Outdoor Supper Clubs increased during Q1, which was mostly likely heightened by #Lockdown3 restrictions.
  • The appeal of Smaller Menus and Food Trucks also both increased, again most likely an effect of lockdown restrictions.

Restaurant Delivery and Takeaways

  • Cocktail Kits, Taster Menus, Family Friendly Options and Spirits rose in appeal as options from Food & Beverage Delivery Services.
  • Consumers are also now more likely to look for Low/No alcohol products to taste like alcohol.
  • Quality and taste remain the leading hygiene factors for choosing a takeaway/delivery service.


Q1 saw a positive increase in the confidence felt by consumers in the UK recovering from the recession, in job seekers finding employment, and in overall positivity for the future, most likely driven by the exit roadmap and the well-planned vaccine programme.


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