Nearly two-thirds of American consumers say they miss one or more of the brands they haven't been able to buy during the pandemic, and they are buying new ones instead, according to a national survey conducted by Mindshare last week.
The findings -- which are the most recent of six weeks of weekly tracking studies conducted by Mindshare to understand how the pandemic is altering consumer sentiment, awareness and self-reported behaviors -- also found most consumers are likely to continue buying new brands (62%) or try new services (59%) even after the pandemic is over.
The responses suggest the pandemic may be more than just a momentary disruption in consumer brand access and/or preferences, but may be indoctrinating Americans to have long-term behaviors that threaten established brand loyalty.
More generally, the study's sixth wave representing the week of April 13 found that Americans are more worried, sad, stressed and frustrated than at any point so far in the pandemic, but they are feeling slightly less anxious and overwhelmed.
Asked what activities they would feel most comfortable doing within two weeks of social distancing restrictions being lifted, the majority (57%) cited spending time with friends or family, followed by shopping in stores or malls and getting their hair done.
"At this point, life in quarantine is the new normal for consumers and while they miss the normalcy of their life before, the first thing they’d be comfortable doing once restrictions are lifted is spend time with their friends and family – and maybe get a haircut," says Alexis Fragale, director of consumer insights at Mindshare USA, adding, "For now, more are becoming accustomed to the virtual birthday celebrations, streamed workout classes, and shopping online – this is especially true of younger consumers."