MEDIA RELEASE: February 24 2022: Australians are firmly focused on the future and the environment, according to the Kantar Australia Covid-19 Barometer released today. 56% think 2022 will be better than 2021 while 65% believe environmental issues are more critical or just as important than ever before the pandemic (65%).
But at the same time we are more frustrated (32%) than pre-pandemic with a quarter now feeling more trapped (26%) and lonely (24%), and half still believing we must all follow the rules until to the end of any significant risk (49%, down 13% since August 2021).
The number of Australians concerned for their health rises to the highest (34%) since the pandemic began in March 2020 (49%) but only half are now concerned about Covid (49%) in a 12 per cent drop since August. And despite Covid in the community and two in five worrying about another snap lockdown soon (42%), Australians are now feeling comfortable sending children back to school (63%), visiting the hairdresser (58%), shopping (55%) or dining out in a restaurant or bar (53%) as soon as possible.
“In a sign that we’re more confident to live our lives and in what will be a boost for business, half of Australians are now comfortable to return to the office too,” says Kantar Australia Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Sinton.
“However, more and more of us are paying attention to price, which has increased to 51% (up 8%) despite two-thirds of Australians saying their disposable income has remained the same or increased over the last two years (65%) and just one in three feeling they need to be financially proactive (36%). This is at an all-time low since the pandemic began (down by 32% from March 2020).
Four in ten (41%) are also paying attention to products on sale as one-third (33%) plan to reduce their spending in bars, restaurants and cinemas and on live entertainment, fashion and accessories.
“But when we do shop, it’s still all about localism, provenance and sustainability,” adds Sinton.
“We are actively seeking Australian-owned (53%) and Australian-made (55%) brands and products with over two-thirds of Australians passionate about shopping locally to support the community (67%). In fact, 55% prefer doing their groceries close to home.”
“We also obviously can’t wait to travel again,” he says.
“Over half of us are planning to travel in Australia and prioritise seeing local sights (53%) while 31% are comfortable travelling abroad in the next three months. This will translate to increased spending in domestic (23%) and international (21%) destinations, but three in five will plan their holidays well in advance and over half will avoid crowded hotels and chains (53%).”
When it comes to brand choice however, 50% of people are purchasing the same brands as always (down 12%) with stock shortages impacting brand choice.
“Over half of us struggled to find our favourite brands in the past month (53%), but we are shopping more sustainably,” adds Sinton. More than two-thirds of Australians are trying to buy items that use less packaging or with reusable / refillable packaging (67%) and avoiding products with plastic packaging (68%) while two in five now take their own refillable containers when shopping (41%).
“Despite the ongoing challenges, Australians remain passionate about community, localism and sustainability, and command this purpose from brands,” says Kantar Australia Head of Brand Strategy Ryan France.
“The opportunity for brands is to help people close the gap between those values and passions, and then what they feel able to do as citizens, and as consumers. Innovations that help remove frictions and enable Australians to narrow that value-action gap, can expect to achieve significant momentum and growth if done well.”
Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer is the leading study on how the pandemic is influencing consumers’ behaviours, attitudes and expectations. Kantar Australia’s February 2022 Covid-19 Barometer was collected from the responses of 1,501 Australians (nationally representative in terms of age, gender and location) between 8th-14th February 2022. All comparisons are with August 2021 unless stated. Access more Covid-19 insights.