A recent survey conducted by WOM Network with over 1,700 Australian grocery buyers via Mouths of Mums® has identified an unexpected consequence of the turmoil grocery shoppers experienced during COVID-19 lockdowns: brand loyalty is no more.
The resulting scarcity of certain products from supermarket shelves, be it from supply chain issues or grocery hoarding, has meant that 61 per cent of consumers have been forced to try new brands over the past few months.
And the troubling statistic for brands with historically solid market share is that only 18 per cent of those consumers plan to shift completely back to their original brand choice. 3 per cent said now that they’ve tried challenger brands, they wouldn’t return to any pre-COVID-19 brands. The remainder planning to stick with some or all of the new brands they have recently tried.
WOM Network co-founder and CEO Warwick Hills said: “Brands will need to work harder than ever to re-establish connections and loyalty with their customers in the coming months, possibly years. Those that experienced short-term spikes in sales due to hoarding may suffer a longer-term decline as their loyal customers were forced to consider their competitors during COVID-19 induced outages.”
The study also explored other changes in shopping behaviour, new attitudes to grocery buying and the likelihood of COVID-19 shopper behaviour becoming the “new normal”.
This article originally appeared in Bandt.