Consumer Insights: What We're Stocking Up On & How We Feel About Being Isolated

By: Jackie Lorch
Vice President of Global Knowledge Management

In a special edition of Dynata’s Global Trends Report we’ve been exploring the changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the findings we gathered last week across 14 countries (the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, India, Singapore, China, Japan and Australia) at various stages of the pandemic.
In this installment, we’re looking at consumer stockpiling behaviors, worries/concerns about self-isolation, and how people feel about their new “work from home” reality.
Around three in ten have already stocked up on food, with some countries doing this less than others. Only 11% of Dutch respondents reported stockpiling food and only 12% of Japanese, compared to just under 50% of Chinese and four in ten Americans, Italians, Irish and Indians.
In China 54% report they are considering stockpiling food. The percentage for all the other countries we studied is much lower, with between 11% and 40% considering  doing this.
Of those who have stockpiled items, 71% have stockpiled water, and – to no one’s surprise – toilet paper is the leading household product most likely to have been stockpiled at 71%. Items stockpiled follow national tastes. Two out of three Brits who have stockpiled have bought tea, while over 90% of Chinese stockpilers bought rice, and the same proportion in Italy bought pasta.
Less than half of everyone we asked (44%) think people are overreacting to the situation, but there are big variations by country, ranging from 68% of people in India who think this to 26% in Italy.
If they must self-isolate, about three-quarters of Americans are at least slightly worried that they might run out of food but only about half are worried about what they would do all day, and just 36% are not worried at all about the impact on their mental health. This compared with Italy, a country still heavily in lockdown, where we see 79% worried they may run out of food, 66% worried about what they would do all day, and only 26% not worried about their  mental health.
We see low levels of worry about working from home, with 26% overall worried about this and general consistency by country. However, this data was collected before widespread school closures and therefore before most people were faced with the realities of working from  home while simultaneously caring for children.
We’ll be tracking many of these key measures weekly across the 14 countries and sharing findings with you every week.
Click here to download Dynata’s Global Trends Report Special Edition: COVID-19