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Shopping pattern changes during the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK 2020, by age

The novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), which emerged in late 2019, has had drastic effects on the shopping habits of supermarket shoppers globally. Stockpiling of many consumer goods products surged amidst the shutdown of many businesses and quarantine measures implemented by governments around the world.

Age group differences of Coronavirus stockpiling in the UK

As initial quarantine measures were implemented in the UK during the first week of March 2020, the purchase of grocery store items such as such toilet paper, household cleaners and over-the-counter medicine saw a major increase. According to a poll conducted by Ipsos, there were noticeable differences between the stockpiling behaviors of older versus younger shoppers. 65 percent of shoppers in the older age range of 55 to 75 years old stated their shopping patterns were unchanged during this time. This was not the case for younger shoppers, especially 18-35-year-olds, of whom 40 percent stated they did purchase additional items.

Coronavirus stockpiling in the UK versus other countries

As seen in the present chart, 42-65 percent of all those surveyed stated their grocery shopping habits have remained unchanged during the Coronavirus pandemic. This number is in accordance with another poll by in which six in ten UK citizens stated it was unacceptable to stockpile items due to coronavirus concerns. A worldwide poll measuring stockpiling trends from 12 countries further demonstrated that the stockpiling behaviors of UK consumers came in ninth place, before Australia and after France.

Change in shopping patterns among consumers during the Coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom (UK) in March 2020, by age

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Release date

March 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

March 13-16, 2020

Number of respondents

1,074 respondents

Special properties

British adults

Method of interview

Online interview

Supplementary notes

The source adds the following information: "Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error."
* Not available due to small base.

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Statistics on "Coronavirus: impact on the retail industry in the UK"

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