10 Things to Know: Consumer Response to COVID-19

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COVID-19 & Consumer Concerns

The response to COVID-19 is altering American life. Social distancing, working remotely, when possible, and the shift of education from public schools to the privacy of living rooms and kitchen tables is the strange new normal.

To better understand the effects of the pandemic on consumer habits and attitudes, the Cotton Incorporated Corporate Strategy & Insights department posed a series of questions to 500 U.S. consumers.

66% of consumers say they feel “very afraid these days.”

63% expect this experience to change the way they shop in the future.


COVID-19 & Consumer Concerns

Age Range Concerned About COVID-19

18% – Age 14-24
40% – Age 25-44
56% – Age 45+

Gender Gap Concerned About COVID-19

72% – Women
57% – Men

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Consumers Are Seeking Out Comfort

54% are cooking more often.

54% are eating comfort food more often.

80% are wearing comfortable clothes.

79% just want to curl up in a cozy bed.

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Comfortable & Safe Clothing Materials

Consumers rate clothing made from cotton as the most comfortable as well as the safest.

Cotton – Comfort: 70% | Safety: 55%

Spandex – Comfort: 27% | Safety: 27%

Polyester – Comfort: 22% | Safety: 23%

Rayon/Viscose – Comfort: 16% | Safety: 17%

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Consumer Spending Habits

Consumers are split. Some consumers are spending more while others are spending less.

36% are spending more than before.

34% are spending less than before.

30% are spending about the same as before.

Largest Categories for Extra Spending

57% – Groceries
48% – Household Supplies

More Online Shopping

32% of consumers are shopping online more than before.

Online Activities

Consumers are spending extra time online doing the following:

62% are reading and/or watching the news.

60% are on social media.

59% are streaming movies or TV shows

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Download 10 Things You Should Know About COVID-19.

For more information, contact Corporate Strategies & Insights at – Cotton Incorporated’s COVID-19 Consumer Response Survey, a survey of 500 U.S. consumers conducted on March 20, 2020.