May 6, 2020
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Americans have faced radical changes in how we live our lives. As masks have joined the phone-keys-wallet triumvirate of essential items when leaving the home, we’ve clearly been forced to adapt to a new normal. Offices are remote, sports are on hold and Carole Baskin has become a household name. And while some of us wrote out quaran-to-do lists with the optimism and spirit of Leslie Knope, many quarantine goals have gone the way of Entertainment 720 as the uncertainty that flooded our realities quickly shifted our priorities.
It became abundantly clear after monitoring a week of Gopuff shopper behavior that many consumers were not looking for toilet paper, frozen meals, and water because of the needs these products served. Many shoppers were simply looking for peace of mind, comfort and security.
Gopuff saw an uptick in health, wellness and mindfulness-driven demand
These pandemic-provoked shifts in shopper behavior all pointed towards one broad theme: mindfulness. Mindfulness of how we can protect ourselves, our families & our communities. Mindfulness of the interconnected world around us. Mindfulness of how we treat our bodies.
No matter how you do it, the new physical and emotional needs stemming from this new COVID-19 world are a great opportunity to tap into your mindfulness and think more carefully about how you can care for yourself, your loved ones and your community. Consumers during the early days of COVID-19 purchased more cleaning supplies and household essentials than usual, mindful that they may need them to protect their families. This sense of mindfulness has now spread to shoppers taking care of themselves as well, making purchases that increase their sense of well-being and help them feel safe.
Everyday essential Gopuff orders jumped when the pandemic began
On March 12th, Gopuff orders for Charmin toilet paper delivery increased 211% overnight. Purell orders were already up 400%. “Water” skyrocketed to become the Gopuff platform’s most popular search term.
However, as the pandemic unfolded and consumer behavior stabilized, Gopuff saw shoppers flock to wellness products in droves. Wellness beverages such as smoothies, protein drinks, immunity boost drinks, alkaline water, antioxidant rich beverages, and aloe water all jumped in demand. Kombuchas and enhanced waters saw a 124% volume increase, while orders for healthy snacks and vitamins/wellness supplements grew 77% and 60%, respectively.
While shoppers will still continue to order Gopuff favorites like Ben & Jerry’s Netflix & Chill’d and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the renewed movement into wellness consumption should not be ignored. Consumers are now primed with a heightened awareness when monitoring the store shelves. Paired with a desire to stay healthy in the months ahead, shoppers will likely continue to incorporate new, healthier options into their basket mix. This may be one of the many ways consumers express a renewed sense of mindfulness in the months (and perhaps years) ahead.
So where do we go from here?
Brands should focus on customer service
Brands can help consumers tap into wellness and mindfulness by providing peace of mind with a human touch. Instead of taking to mass media to keep promoting how they are there for you in these uncertain times while showing videos of empty urban centers, brands can cultivate shopper mindfulness and drive long-lasting relationships by focusing on customer service. Shoppers will remember the personal connection fostered through interactions with a brand long after its timely commercials leave the airwaves.
Consumers can focus on what matters most
Individuals can figure out what makes them feel “well” and do those things with passion and enthusiasm. Whether it’s calling old friends, making Small Business Saturday a monthly activity as shops reopen, or just reading a few pages in a new book every day, use the post-quarantine period as a time to renew commitments to wellness, connectivity and mindfulness.
Extreme circumstances bring out certain qualities we may not know we had. It’s up to us whether we choose to leave those qualities in the past or take them with us on our next adventure. We say full steam ahead.