A collaborative study by DMC Insights, MomJunction and HerHQ Media was conducted to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women- both working professionals and homemakers. The findings have been published in the report titled ‘Demisstifying Her Pre Vs Post Covid-19 Behavior’
The report aimed to capture the shift in overall practices regarding Food Consumption, Shopping Behaviour, Skin Care, Health Consciousness, and Household Chores.
The teams used a river sampling method where the MomJunction.com readers were invited to participate in a survey by administering a self-filled questionnaire. The main takeaways show women’s consumption pattern in two distinct areas – food and skincare products and their household responsibilities that have increased post-COVID-19, therefore, impacting their buying decisions.
1083 women aged 20 and above were a part of the survey. 58% of women claimed an increase in the frequency of online grocery shopping post-COVID-19, and 36% of women claimed the increase in skincare products post COVID-19.
The report states how COVID-19 has affected food-related habits.
Women in India spend an average of 14.2 hours a week cooking, the highest amount of time compared to other countries. Cooking, in most households, irrespective of the culture or region, is an elaborate process. However, post-COVID-19, there has been a change in the type of meals being cooked, with an inclination towards easy meal-making. The easy meal making habits witnessed a 37 percent increase post-pandemic.
The new trend that emerged in an increased fashion was binge-snacking or snacking between meals. 38 percent of respondents said that their consumption of ready to eat products has reduced compared to Pre-COVID-19.
The factors guiding women’s grocery shopping behaviour post-COVID-19 are threefold. While quality, price, and brand remain the top three deciding factors, there was a rise in preference for the availability of products, assurance of hygiene, and nutrition. “Healthy over tasty” was the mantra adopted by women. There has been an increase in grocery consumption, observed sharply in the age band of 30 to 40 where the younger age group kids were at home, and the experimentation with food is more prevalent. When asked about buying groceries online or in person, the responses show a contrast in the results. While 61% of women said that they prefer online shopping for home delivery, 41% of physical grocery shoppers cited that preference for tangible shopping as the key reason.
Regarding health and fitness, limited mobility affected their workout routine (morning walks/running in the park etc.). 16% of women were not doing anything pre-COVID-19 but have started some physical exercise post-pandemic, which can be attributed to the COVID-19 paranoia. The findings also confirm the notion that women have claimed their beauty routines as their own, post-COVID-19. They shifted their focus to skincare as a whole instead of focusing on grooming alone.
Abhinay Bhasin, Vice President (Asia Pacific), Data Sciences, Dentsu Aegis Network, said, “Our research reveals 56% of women have claimed to have had an increase in domestic dependence on overall household work. The report will reveal how COVID-19 has played a role in impacting women’s lives in urban India. As global conglomerates adapt to a new reality, brands and companies must take into account the differentiated needs of their workforce, especially working moms who shoulder an even higher burden of care.”
Natasha Garyali, Vice President, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, IncNut Digital, echoed similar sentiments, “As the primary gatekeepers, we saw women take a more central role in household decisions and finances, redefining, adapting and influencing the pre-existing dynamics and shifting priorities in the wake of the pandemic. The report delves deeper into these changing and evolving behavioural shifts across key categories and provides an insightful perspective for brands to understand and harness these new emerging priorities by tailoring more meaningful communication and experiences that suit and shape the next normal.”
Meera Chopra, Founder, HerHQ Media, reveals that the report analyses how behavioural changes will affect the Indian woman’s product buying and consumption, “Despite its negative impact, many paradoxical trends emerged that transformed certain consumer behaviour and habits, and thus businesses. These changes indicate shifts in consumer behaviour and needs. Consumers, especially women who are the primary caregivers and home-runners, have displayed unprecedented lifestyle changes that would influence future buying trends, trends that need to be considered by media and marketing professionals while designing their marketing solutions in the post-COVID-19 world.”