How did consumer behaviour change in lockdown 2021?

Test your hunches with our consumer quiz

Lockdown inevitably changed consumer behaviour, but in what ways and to what extent? Did we watch more or less TV? Did we eat more or less? How did we spend our lockdown hours? Did your lockdown activity chime with other people’s? Test your knowledge, and potentially break out of your bubble, by taking our consumer quiz, with comprehensive answers provided below from our 2021 IPA TouchPoints data.

Are the following statements on consumer behaviour in lockdown 2021 true or false?

1) SVOD channels such as Netflix stole the battle for eyeballs over the broadcast TV channels in lockdown 2021

  • A) True
  • B) False

2) Our motivation to bake waned in lockdown 2021

  • A) True
  • B) False

3) After a year of lockdown, everyone is now shopping online

  • A) True
  • B) False

4) We’ve given up on going to parks and green spaces and are staying in

  • A) True
  • B) False

5) We are now a Zoombie nation with uptake set to continue

  • A) True
  • B) False

6) After an initial surge of charitable donations in lockdown 2020 we’ve got nothing more to give

  • A) True
  • B) False

7) We spent more time feeling happy during lockdown 2021

  • A) True
  • B) False
covid consumers.jpg


1) B – False. Broadcast TV continued to win more eyeballs, yet SVOD share of growth continues to surge.

With over 13 million people tuning in to watch the finale of Line of Duty, there is no doubt that lockdown has increased our video viewing on any screen. The nation turned to their TVs and devices for much-needed entertainment, escapism and information. In total, there was a 15% increase in viewing – an extra 37 minutes per person per day.

Viewing to commercial/linear TV increased by 23 minutes a day compared to pre lockdown figures in 2020. In the latest lockdown period, 63% of TV and video viewing is live or recorded TV and Broadcaster VoD showed a high level of percentage growth since pre-lockdown in 2020. It now accounts for 10% of all 15 – 34s TV viewing. But SVOD continues to grow with an 18% share of all viewing.

2) B – False. Our motivation to bake didn’t wane.

The amount of people baking increased by 26% during the first lockdown in 2020. And, surprisingly after a year in lockdown, the amount of people baking has increased even further, by an additional 8%.

3) B – False. A large amount of people are still not shopping online.

In 2019, 51% of the population were shopping online at least once a week. By the time of the early 2021 restrictions, this figure had only risen to 53%.

4) B – False. We continue to love our parks and green spaces.

In lockdown 2020, the amount of us going to a park or green space increased by 27.8%. And this increase has remained the same for lockdown 2021.

5) A –True. Video conferencing shows no sign of let up.

In 2020, ‘Zoom me’ replaced ‘Skype me’ in the way we talk about video calling and Zoom became to video calling what Hoover is to the Vacuum cleaner – synonymous. We had quizzes, family meet ups, wine tastings, yoga, Zumba and anything which would have been an office meeting or a phone call transformed into a 21st Century version of Through the Keyhole.

Back in 2019, video calling was used by 29% of the population, it was awkward, we didn’t know how to talk or look on video calls. Now in 2021, we’ve all adapted and it’s become second nature 57% of the population now use video calling each week, and there’s no signs of letting up even after a year of lockdown.

6) A – True. Our charitable donations have dropped.

In the early days of the 2020 lockdown, we were cheering on Captain Tom, and supporting the NHS and other charities and clubbing together for the greater good, but after a year of lockdown unfortunately, the number of people giving to charity has dropped to lower than it was before the first 2020 lockdown.

In the first 2020 lockdown we saw charity giving increase by 7.7%, but sadly this has not sustained. In lockdown 2021 giving to charity fell significantly vs pre lockdown 2020, to -6.9%. Difficult economic circumstances, job uncertainty and the closure of many businesses has left people feeling nervous. While some people have been able to save more money during the lockdowns as a result of not having to commute and not being able to socialise in pubs and commercial spaces, for many people whose jobs don’t translate to being able to work from home it has been a very tough time financially.

7) B - False. While we weren’t happier, we had a range of different emotions.

Lockdown has given most people more time. People have spent less time commuting. Working from home has improved the work/life balance for some. Because socialising and going out has been impossible, people have found pleasure in simpler activities like cooking, enjoying the benefits of a daily walk and spending more time with family. But for others it has been difficult time and many people mention increased mental health issues as a result of lockdown.

Time spent feeling happy has dropped by 11% compared to 2020 pre lockdown. However, lockdown has added to some more positive mood states. We have spent 11% more time feeling productive, 4% more time feeling relaxed and 12% less time feeling tired. We are spending less time (20%) feeling angry and 8% less time feeling stressed. And for all of you out there who feel that you have put on weight during lockdown – we are all spending 5% more time feeling hungry!

If you’d like to find out more about consumers’ lifestyles and media choices in lockdown 2021 and before, visit our IPA TouchPoints pages.

The quiz was compiled by Simon Frazier, Senior Research & Marketing Manager, IPA and was first aired at an Advertising Week Europe session in May 2021.

Last updated 21 January 2022