Health Care, Food and Savings Profit from Pandemic

U.S. consumers have said they wanted to spend more money on fresh food and preventative health care and also put more money away in savings due to the coronavirus pandemic, surveys by Boston Consulting Group have found.

In the second of two surveys, which was conducted March 13-16, expected economic hardship showed as the percentage of consumers expecting to save more decreased. In early March, 29 percent said they would save more and 10 percent said they would save less. That 19 percent net share of people saving more decreased to around 15 percent in mid-March. Still, increasing savings remains – for now – a major winner of the pandemic at least according to consumers themselves. As a recently published survey by Gallup shows, half of salaried employees have not felt the financial impact of the virus outbreak.

Among segments expected to receive less spending, it seemed like the vices would be losing out, but consumers could not follow up on their good resolutions. While from March 6-9, a net 25 percent of consumers said they would spend less on tobacco products, that had changed just approximately net 5 percent in mid-March. Most recently, around a net 10 percent said they wanted to spend less on alcohol, but sales have soared at the same time.

Gambling is also expected to lose out, with a net 10 percent saying they would spend less in early March, increased to a net 15 percent by the middle of the month. The segments even more affected by consumer negligence are fashion and outerwear, with net spending reductions of more than 20 percent each expected as of mid-March.

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