Description

“Quick action like the implementation of safety barriers, reassuring communications about keeping shelves stocked, supporting seniors led the grocery sector to shine as a true partner in supporting the community at large in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets a solid foundation for grocers to continue being a true partner in supporting consumer needs by providing guidance and an expert voice in helping them navigate through the ‘new normal’ phase – one that will still require learning as it will not look like it did before the pandemic. The gains seen during the days of quarantine (eg larger cart sizes, increased online activity) will take effort to sustain as some will be keen to resume old habits. Moreover, retailers will need to actively moderate less positive behavioural changes when it comes to grocery shopping like reduced spontaneity or browsing, lesser interest in tactile stimulus like sampling and even the elimination of micro-trips. The next few months will be critical for grocery retailers to get ahead of behaviours and to guide consumers towards new habits.”
– Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director Lifestyles & Leisure

Topics covered in this Report

  • A broad overview of how the pandemic has impacted consumer attitudes and behaviours in general
  • A discussion on the state of the grocery retailing market with specific regard to consumer attitudes and behaviours before the pandemic
  • Strategy recommendations in the short-, medium- and longer-term discussed from the lens of Mintel Consumer Trend Drivers.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Scope
      • Topics covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: Canadian context
        • Executive Summary

          • Analyst perspective: COVID-19 and grocery retailing
            • Key Takeaways
              • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on the grocery retailing category, June 2020
            • Grocery retailing in the short term
              • Grocery retailing in the medium term
                • Grocery retailing in the longer-term
                • The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumers

                    • Uncertainty shapes navigation through day-to-day life, including the shopping mindset
                        • Figure 2: COVID-19 exposure and life disruption concerns, March 3, 2020 – May 29, 2020
                      • Crowd avoidance changes how Canadians shop, accelerating e-commerce adoption
                        • The role of food-at-home becomes more central in satiating emotions
                          • Lessons from other regions:
                            • Mintel Trend Drivers
                              • Figure 3: Mintel Trends Drivers
                            • Wellbeing
                              • Technology
                                • Value
                                  • Rights
                                    • Experiences
                                      • Surroundings
                                        • Identity
                                        • State of the Grocery Market Pre-COVID-19

                                            • Canadians struggled with managing their wellbeing
                                              • Busy culture forced mental wellness into the spotlight, ahead of physical wellness
                                                • Figure 4: #EatTogether 2019, December 2018
                                              • Canadians were hungry for shortcuts and time-saving tools
                                                • The act of grocery shopping was frequent and enjoyable
                                                  • Mass merchandisers making in-roads as consumers seek value and convenience
                                                    • Figure 5: Store types shopped (net any grocery item), May 2018
                                                  • Weight is given to company ethics as Canadians practice conscious consumerism
                                                    • Canada lags behind other markets in terms of e-commerce adoption
                                                      • Figure 6: Shop online at least once a month, Canada vs US, August 2015 and April 2018 (Canada)/March 2015 and March 2018 (US)
                                                    • Ordering groceries online growing, but still niche
                                                      • Grocery stores are missing out in the ideation process for meals – before store arrival
                                                      • Short-term Changes in Grocery Retailing

                                                          • Self-protection is the top priority
                                                            • Meeting short-term consumer needs from the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
                                                              • Investigating impact
                                                                • Figure 7: Select behavioural changes regarding food and drink as of mid-April, April 13-17, 2020
                                                              • Meeting consumer needs
                                                                • Figure 8: No Frills Instagram post, May 2020
                                                                • Figure 9: A Cart Apart – A No Frills Track, May 2020
                                                              • Meeting short-term consumer needs from the lens of the Technology Trend Driver
                                                                • Investigating impact
                                                                  • Meeting consumer needs
                                                                      • Figure 10: Walmart Instagram post, May 2020
                                                                    • Meeting short-term consumer needs from the lens of the Value Trend Driver
                                                                      • Investigating impact
                                                                        • Meeting consumer needs
                                                                          • Meeting short-term consumer needs from the lens of the Rights Trend Driver
                                                                            • Investigating impact
                                                                              • Meeting consumer needs
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Sobeys One Big Family, April 2020
                                                                              • Medium-term Changes in Grocery Retailing

                                                                                  • Behaviours will adjust, making active management/moderation efforts necessary
                                                                                    • Meeting medium-term consumer needs from the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
                                                                                      • Meeting medium-term consumer needs from the lens of the Technology Trend Driver
                                                                                        • Meeting medium-term consumer needs from the lens of the Value Trend Driver
                                                                                          • Meeting medium-term consumer needs from the lens of the Surroundings Trend Driver
                                                                                              • Figure 12: Kraft Peanut butter Instagram post, May 2020
                                                                                          • Longer-term Changes in Grocery Retailing

                                                                                              • Meeting longer-term consumer needs from the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Bon Appétit Instagram post, January 2020
                                                                                                • Meeting longer-term consumer needs from the lens of the Value Trend Driver
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: PC Express – The Talk 30sec, May 2019
                                                                                                  • Meeting longer-term consumer needs from the lens of the Surroundings Trend Driver
                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Sobeys Instagram post, January 2020
                                                                                                      • Figure 16: How to Flashfood LIKE A MOTHER, September 2019
                                                                                                    • Meeting longer-term consumer needs from the lens of the Rights Trend Driver
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                            • Terms

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