Sustainable consumptionNew consumer survey shows impact of Corona pandemic and 'greener' choices

Today, the European Commission released the Key Consumer Data 2020 on consumption choices of EU households. The survey results demonstrate that the Corona pandemic affected consumption patterns for example in that consumers were shopping more locally. In addition, more environmentally conscious choices were made in that consumers were willing to pay more for a more durable product.

As part of the Commission's annual data collection on consumer behavior in the European Single Market, this targeted survey was conducted in the last quarter of 2020 in order to specifically assess the attitudes, behavior and experiences of consumers during the Corona pandemic.

These are further aspects:

  • In 2020, the great majority 71 percent of consumers shopped online at least once. 42 percent of respondents considered postponing a major purchase and another 80 percent would not make any travel plans until the situation in their country had normalized.

  • 56 percent of consumers acknowledged that environmental concerns influenced their purchasing decisions and 67 percent said that they bought products that were better for the environment, even if such products were more expensive. Another 81 percent shopped closer to home and supported local businesses.

  • Other variables remained unaffected by the Corona pandemic in 2020 compared to previous surveys: The level of consumer trust in retailers was still high (at 80 percent), extensive knowledge of consumer rights remained low (at 27 percent) while the share of consumers confronted with a purchasing problem for which they felt they could legitimately complain remained low (at 23 percent).

Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, noted: "The pandemic left a mark on consumers: While 38 percent of them were concerned about being able to pay their bills, another 42 percent decided to postpone major purchasing decisions. On a positive note, findings also show that 56 percent of consumers are mindful of the environmental impact of their purchases. I will discuss the key data at the forthcoming Consumer Summit to engage all participants in concrete actions to accelerate the recovery from COVID-19 and the green transition."

Source: EC

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