State of the Nation

6 8 20 State of the Nation

Using mood trackers and consumer insight, our report explores the state of the nation; how we’re feeling, how we’re shopping and where we’re going. Read the main takeaways below.

How we’re feeling

The mood of the nation continues to change every week, a constant rollercoaster. With lockdown easing, the number of people feeling happy has gone up, and is the nation’s top emotion. Although it has gone down in recent weeks, the second emotion of the nation is one of frustration, followed by stress. (Source: YouGov, July 2020)

Fear of catching COVID-19 and fears for personal finances are now almost equal. The nation is now almost equally fearful of catching COVID-19 as they are for their personal finances, presenting challenges for certain brands, particularly those in the hospitality and events sector, in the weeks and months ahead. (Source: YouGov COVID-19 tracker, 10th July 2020)

Only 44% of the nation think the government are handling the crisis well. Faith in the UK government’s handling of the crisis has plummeted as at the end of March 72% of people thought the issue was being handed well, that figure has now dropped to 44% at the start of July. This is one of the lowest scores in the world, with only Poland, the USA and Mexico scoring worse.


  1. Brands need to be cognisant of the nation’s ever changing mood and what messaging will be best received
  2. With uncertainty still order of the day, there is a role for brands to show stability and consistency
  3. Normality is not set to resume anytime soon – brands will need to remain adaptable and flexible

How we’re shopping

Demand for groceries continues to grow. The week ending 14th June saw a 13.7% increase in take-home sales from supermarkets’ year-on-year for 12 supermarkets; this increases to 18.9% for four supermarkets. Online grocery delivery has had similar growth, growing as much in 10 weeks as it did in 10 years. For the week ending 14th June, four supermarkets saw a 91% increase in online grocery sales vs the previous 4 weeks. There was also a 20% increase in the number of households who used online grocery delivery in June as more delivery slots were made available. (Source: Kantar Worldpanel, Online grocery growth, access here)

Convenience and locality have become increasingly important. Convenience stores have become an increasingly important outlet for shoppers during the lockdown – be they independent retailers, which are growing at 69.3%, or the smaller formats of major outlets, for example Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local. They accounted for 14.7% of all sales in the past four weeks. The Co-op has reported strong sales as a result, with its network of local stores helping to accelerate growth to 34.5% over 12 weeks. Co-op’s market share now stands at 7.4%, representing its highest figure since March 2001. (Source: Kantar Worldpanel, Grocery Market Share, access here)


  1. Shopping habits continue to be disrupted – both an opportunity and a threat to brands
  2. Online grocery is rising exponentially – e-commerce fundamentals have never been more important
  3. What we’re buying is changing as lockdown eases – for those that can, being fleet of foot and investing last minute could help to create brand salience and demand

Where we’re going

Very few people plan to go abroad on holiday this year. Of 2067 adults surveyed, only 11% affirmed that they plan to go abroad with the majority (77%) stating they “do not” plan to go abroad for their holiday. With plans for holidays abroad paused, searches for UK holiday destinations like Cornwall and Devon are increasingly popular. (Source: YouGov, 1st July 2020; Google Trends, 10th July 2020)

As for leisure and recreation, many people are still reticent to even go out to a restaurant or a pub meaning the “eat out to help out” scheme may not be enough to kickstart the hospitality sector. Only 8% of 1889 adults surveyed said they “definitely will” go to a restaurant in August, but 24% did say they “probably will”. In comparison, 27% of respondents “probably won’t” go out with a further 25% stating they “definitely won’t”. Interestingly, 16% of people were still undecided.


  1. There could be more opportunity for brand building over the summer months than normal owing to people staying in the UK
  2. With many people still reticent to go out, brands which can help provide in-home entertainment could flourish
  3. With people staying close to home but returning to the high street, opportunities exist for localised brand building

Read the full report here.

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