3.24 The Pulse Of Covid-19: The Trends Of The Past Week

One week later and life feels fundamentally different for most of us. Being a good citizen is hard (as many of us are finding here in New York) — and doing it while running businesses, teams, and households are even harder. If there is any way our team can be of support to you, your business, or team, please let us know. 

Tonight’s focus is away from the standard COVID-19 headlines surfacing the micro-trends we are seeing emerge in the market and how companies are reacting as a source of information, insight, inspiration, and maybe even a point of levity.

 This week we’ve woven Harris’ latest data throughout the trends.

Companies Continue To Fill The Gaps: Consumers have been consistently looking to private companies for leadership and, as of this past weekend, our data shows that Americans have a better view of healthcare companies, grocery stores, pharmaceutical companies and technology companies since the outbreak.

Supporting #HealthCareHeroes: Those saving our lives are exhausted, overwhelmed and are fighting for basic necessities to keep themselves and patients safe. In NY alone– 30,000 professionals have come out of retirement to join the frontline. According to our latest poll, nearly 9 in 10 Americans are concerned about a potential shortage of healthcare workers, up 8% since last week. 

 Brands are stepping up to provide support:

 Optimizing The WFH Experience: Many Americans have had a week, maybe two, to get into the swing of WFH. While many debate whether this will be the tipping point for remote work, our data shows over 1 in 5 Americans can’t wait to get back to the office, saying that ‘once the government provides information that the spread of the virus is flattening, they would be willing to immediately go to the office’ – by comparison, they estimate waiting at least 2-3 months before returning to restaurants or the gym again.

  • More than 600,000 people downloaded Zoom in a single day last week and many are scrambling to ‘hack’ their video-chatting appearance.Applying beauty enhancing filters (i.e., to erase the effect of sleepless nights) and virtual backgrounds like beaches and outer space to escape the realities of sheltering in place. For those who want to showcase elegant, spotless homes virtually on ZoomWest Elm has you covered.   
  • Celebrities are helping Americans feel more comfortable WFH– Mindy Khaling shares her work from home attire that features a polished top paired with PJ pants.
  • Now a Danish design company will deliver $85 cardboard desks to set up home offices on the fly, something companies could leverage to help at-home workers get settled.
  • Many industries are innovating to reimagine the state of conferences, ‘CanceledCon,’ is a two-day event that will take the place of design conferences that have been postponed or canceled this year.

Cheers to (Virtual) Quarantinis!: It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a fix for the need to connect and be close. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans say they are virtually connecting with family and friends, with 20% saying they have had a virtual gathering with friends in the last week. Among Gen Zs, these numbers rise to 55% and 35%, respectively.

Quarantine Appetites: As panic buying reaches new highs and lows, many are left wondering if they stocked up on the right things – and, perhaps more intimidating, how to cook it all themselves. 

  • Cooking content is pivoting towards staples, featuring recipes good enough to eat for 17 years, chefs giving their guidance on what you really need to be stocking up on, and quarantine cooking shows that teach the basics of self-reliant cooking skills. Meanwhile, the bean market is booming like never before, while “comfort booze shopping is also seeing a spike.
  • Beyond the practical, Americans are looking to treat themselves while quarantining: pastry sales jumped over 18% compared to previous week and champagne brandsreport the demand is as high as New Year’s Eve. 
  • One San Francisco bakery is offering Quarantine Cakes, with messages reminding recipients to “wash your hands” or “pretend you’re an introvert.” Stress baking at home is also on the rise, as people are turning to baked goods for a source of comfort.
  • Others are opting to outsource their food prep – more than half of Gen Zs & Millennials planning to order food delivery from an app during the outbreak (52%).

Survivalist Parenting: Parents are giving into screen time and giving each other permission to throw judgment out the window as they are just trying to survive WFH while raising children.

Consumers Continue To Need Levity & Escapism: Consumers are turning to entertainment to distract and occupy their time. Consumers are searching for a reprieve by tuning out the news: 4 in 10 Americans say they are “reading more non-news related content to cope”. 

A 500ft Glance @ Optimism

That’s it for now. Till next week.