New ways to spend money

On mars 15, 2021 by Ilka Kuhagen

While participants in the IKM Consumer Community realize they saved money over time during the lockdown, they also became aware of new areas where they spent their money.

Changed Lifestyle:

A big change is happening in the area of nourishment and food. While eating out has been replaced by home delivery, there is a trend to home cooking, triggered by closed restaurant but also by a need to eat healthy in a time of a pandemic. More time and money are invested to prepare healthy meals. Special and rare ingredients trigger a feeling of indulgence. Expensive wine at home replaces a simple wine at the restaurant. Costly chocolate and cake increase wellbeing at home. This upscale home cooking has triggered unexpected expenses.

  • ”We buy fresh and better groceries more often e.g. beef filet for the BBQ (Since you cannot go to a good steak restaurant), shrimps, once a week fresh fish, good wine, prosecco etc.”
  • “We like to buy more premium groceries. For example: we love Carpaccio. You can get this as frozen at Metro. Then you only need fresh parmesan cheese (which we usually always have at home) and Rucola (from our garden during summer)”
  • “A lot of chocolate or cake or other things that make me feel good. Unfortunately.“

Bio/vegan/healthy became more important

More home cooking has led to more awareness about produce and products purchased and a need to live a healthier lifestyle. Many spend more on food as they buy organic, started to cook vegan or want to make sure they live healthy.

  • “I generally buy more organic products. For food but also with cosmetics, like yesterday when I bought a vegan, plastic-free lip balm. In the past I would have just grabbed a known brand but today I focus more on sustainability. It’s the general social trend.“
  • “I am more focused when I shop, I look into ingredients of the products e.g. buy more alkaline foodstuffs, and rather buy organic products. This is not directly related to the lockdown but since you have more time to occupy with these things it was a topic I concerned myself with. How do I subsist myself better and healthier than before“

Home improvement

Other areas of increased expense have to do with anything that improves personal life at home: Toys, Netflix, hygienic care, and DIY. 

While spending more time at home, costs for renovation, decoration, energy, and entertainment have increased.  Many used the extra time to repair and remodel. Decoration became more important with the increased time spent at home.

  • “Since I spent a lot of time at home, I looked for a new hobby – renovating the apartment”
  • “Increased overall costs for staying at home: more heating, more electricity more water”
  • “More money for interior furnishings and decoration since I spend more time in the apartment and want to have it really comfortable. In the beginning I only bought things that were missing. Now I already replace things since a different style or something else fits better“
  • Products purchased for example:
    • New mattress
    • New bed cover
    • New carpet
    • New curtains
    • New furniture
    • Balcony decoration

In-home entertainment replaced social activities and cultural events.

  • “I indulged in a Netflix subscription“
  • “Friends told me that video streaming services are being used a lot more. Many got a Netflix subscription or Amazon Prime video“
  • ”The reason for spending more money on toys is that we are home way more often and need to provide new stimuli for our son. So, he doesn’t get bored but also that he develops and learns. Basically, as a substitute for museums and so forth which you cannot visit at the moment“

While hairdressers and cosmeticians had to close, people tried to DIY also in these areas. Some may even continue doing this, if not forever at least for a couple of times to save money.

  • “I am spending more on cosmetics as I am not seeing a cosmetician or a hairdresser. Maybe I will keep doing this as it saves a lot of money and I can do it myself”
  • ”I started cutting my kids hair myself (just the ends). There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube“

Additional purchases, not planned before Corona

Clearly there was a need for new technology products to equip home offices. An overall increased consumption of hygienic products can be seen with a need for higher quality and a readiness to pay higher prices. 

  • “I needed a headset and a microphone which I didn’t need before”
  • “With hygiene products – I bought hand soaps that specifically kill bacteria and viruses which are comparably higher priced. Also, the consumption of soap and disinfectant has increased significantly”
  • “I bought a soda maker, to avoid carrying all those bottles, but also for sustainability reasons”

Finally, there are additional unplanned purchases for personal use like glasses or phone, just to treat themselves!

  • “This was because I thought with all the additional savings, I can treat myself“

After weeks of “light” lockdown, Germany went into a full lockdown again on December 16th. That day, IKM started a long-term online community to observe changes in behavior, compliance, emotions, and observations of consumers in their close environment.

Stay tuned – We will consistently post findings from this standing consumer community

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