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The corona crisis changes the priorities of Europeans

The corona crisis changes the priorities of Europeans

A new Mintel research shows that the corona virus crisis has affected the priorities of Europeans. Consumers attach now more importance to friends and family, healthy habits, and they definitely want to take a break this summer. 


Staying in touch with friends and family

First conclusion of the study is that Europeans are reminded of the importance of friends and family. Across Europe, consumers unanimously agree that staying in touch with friends and family is now a higher priority than before the outbreak. About the importance of staying in contact, the British and the French lead the way 

  • United Kingdom (57%) 
  • France (55%)
  • Italy (47%)
  • Spain (46%)
  • Germany (38%)


Health and wellbeing are increasing priorities

Not a big surprise here if you ask me. The Covid-19 is a big health scare, so it was to be expected that keeping in shape and staying healthy (both physically and mentally) are more important for consumers nowadays. This will transform the attitude of Europeans towards exercise and healthy eating in the near future.

When asked if doing exercise is a higher priority than before the crisis, an increasing number of Europeans responded positively: 

  • United Kingdom (34%), 
  • France (33%)
  • Italy (32%) 
  • Spain (27%) 
  • Poland (24%)
  • Germany (19%)

When it comes to eating habits, many confirmed the higher priority of eating healthily:

  • France (37%) 
  • Italy (34%)
  • United Kingdom (31%)
  • Poland (29%)
  • Spain (29%)
  • Germany (22%) 


Jack DuckettAssociate Director of Consumer Lifestyles Research at Mintel, commented: “With the COVID-19 outbreak posing a profound risk to people's health, lifestyles, and, in some cases, even their lives, it follows that many are reconsidering their priorities as they question what really matters in life. For many Europeans, staying in touch with friends and family has proved a lifeline during the lockdown period. Mental health has been high on the agenda and consumers have been encouraged to reach out and stay in touch with each other, including some high profile national campaigns in the UK, like ITV's ‘Britain Get Talking‘ campaign.


In terms of physical wellbeing during the current crisis, while healthy living has largely become a higher priority among already health-focused younger adults, older consumers and seniors are far from complacent. Their heightened vulnerability could see a revolution in this generation’s healthy behaviours, particularly when it comes to being more physically active.


Europeans need a break

Summer is coming and many Europeans who stayed home (or still are under certain confinement regulations), long for a break away from home. Going on holiday is in the top three of the things that many consumers want: 

  • Polish (38%) 
  • Italian (34%)
  • German (33%)
  • Spanish (30%)
  • British (28%)
  • French (27%)

However, going back to work or back to school is not on the list of priorities for most. Only 17% of Italians look forward to go back to their jobs or classrooms, and the percentages are even lower across other countries. 

Jack Duckett, continued to explain: “Many consumers are still very worried about being exposed to the novel coronavirus, and the risk it poses to their and their family’s health. For many, returning to work means a return to public transport and air conditioned offices - all of which feel too risky at this point in time. It is also important to remember that Europe has been through an extremely intense period of anxiety, and so it is little wonder that so many are excited for a break, particularly given that lockdown measures kept many from enjoying a warm, sunny spring.




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