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Brand loyalty remains important as people are prepared to pay more for items than they usually would during ‘pandemic times’, finds Toluna COVID-19 Barometer

Brand loyalty remains important as people are prepared to pay more for items than they usually would during ‘pandemic times’, finds Toluna COVID-19 Barometer

Survey reveals retailers are highly regarded for their response to the pandemic crisis

WHAT: The Toluna and Harris Interactive COVID-19 Barometer is a bi-weekly index that taps into a community panel of 30+ million members providing accurate and timely information on the world’s perceptions regarding the Coronavirus. The latest research was carried conducted between April 9 2020 and April 14 2020 and surveyed 1,068 people in the UK.


Despite the public health crisis, 69% of UK consumers are still shopping in store for groceries, as opposed to shopping online. An overwhelming 95% of respondents blame shortages on items like hand sanitiser, pasta and toilet roll on other shoppers not purchasing such items sensibly. Only 5% thought grocery stores were to blame.

 Retailers are highly regarded in the UK, with 81% of those surveyed agreeing that retailers have adequately communicated to them throughout the pandemic:

  • 48% of people cited retailers as informative
  • 41% found retailers helpful
  • Nearly a third (31%) believe retailers are reassuring

When asked about how the coronavirus lockdown measures have affected their usual shopping habits, those surveyed said they’ve:

  • Tried a new product when they couldn’t purchase what they usually buy (26%)
  • Tried buying from a new brand when they couldn’t buy from their usual brand (28%)
  • Paid more for something that they would typically buy pre-COVID-19 (47%)
  • Gone without something they would usually buy (65%)

Brand loyalty still matters but consumers forced to choose

When people’s usual brand is out of stock and they’ve had to choose an alternative, respondents were evenly split on whether the specific brand was critical, with 54% stating it was important and 46% noting it was not. 

 However, when forced to choose between a certain brand or a specific product, the survey revealed that consumers are willing to buy a different brand but not a different product in specific instances. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and personal toiletries.

  • Nearly half (47%) will not buy a different product when it comes to personal toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo but they will invest in a different brand
  • 39% of respondents are happy to purchase a different brand of alcohol but not a different type of alcohol
  • 38% of people are willing to buy a different brand of soft drink but not a different type of soft drink.

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Jan Wilkes, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, has worked at Tesco for nearly 30 years. She said:

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