Lockdowns are increasing pandemic fatigue for 6 in 10 Aussies but over half are optimistic about life returning to normal within a year

Localism remains a priority for shoppers as focus on price decreases and 54% want brands to talk as they have always done

  • Over 3 in 5 believe we must all follow the rules until we get to the end of any significant risk
  • 55% believe we should keep the goal of zero cases of community transmission

Sydney, 10 August 2021: As Australia continues an epic battle against Covid-19 and people adjust to both prolonged and snap lockdowns, pandemic weary Aussies are increasingly more focussed on what will get us back to living a ‘sense of normality’. They want brands to talk about how to be helpful in the ‘new’ everyday with 54% remaining optimistic that we’ll be there within a year (down from 59% in August 2020), according to the latest Kantar Australia COVID-19 Barometer. Overall, 61% are concerned about how the pandemic is infiltrating Australia right now (+20% from April 2020) with over 3 in 5 saying we must all follow the rules until we get to the end of any significant risk.

Two-thirds (66%) of Australians want the majority of the population vaccinated to feel safe returning to daily life and over half (55%) believe we should keep the goal of zero cases of community transmission. Yet, this spate of lockdowns has hit Aussies hard – we’re working longer hours (+15%) and exercising from home less (-10%).

As pandemic fatigue sets in:

  • Sending children back to school is the activity parents want most
  • 47% of Australians want to visit their hairdresser ASAP
  • 35% of females are spending less time applying makeup
  • Aussies are wearing their slippers and pyjamas (+20%) and leisure wear (+26%) more
  • 22% of people are purchasing more alcohol for home (despite half claiming to be drinking less)
  • 41% of Australians are consuming more news
  • One-third (36%) of Gen Z are spending more time on TikTok
  • 1 in 5 people are watching more TV in bed
  • 1 in 3 Australians are shopping more online
  • 19% of people are now ordering directly from restaurants.

As we look to life beyond lockdowns, 3 in 5 Aussies want to get back to travelling locally (61%) and abroad (57%). But in the next 12-months, 25% will only book travel in their home state – citing sudden border closures (68%) and quarantining (63%) as their most feared travel experiences. Two-thirds say they are more likely to get vaccinated if they could freely travel domestically and it would prevent state border closures.

With almost two-thirds (62%) of people purchasing the same brands as last month and 44% switching stores to find their preferred brand for certain products, there is a powerful opportunity for brands right now if they show Australians that they’re driven by community values, authenticity and trust,” says Kantar Australia Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Sinton.

“While 42% of Australians think non-health brands should get involved to help get more people fully vaccinated, three-quarters (74%) don’t want brands to exploit the pandemic and 54% want brands to talk as they have always done, so it’s a fine balance between brand communications and advocacy. Localism has also continued to rise in importance with 76% of people choosing to shop at local stores because they believe it is important for the community (an increase of 12% since April 2021). 35% also cite convenience over price.”

“Homegrown is preferred with 37% continuing to pay attention to product origin,” adds Sinton, remarking that while its “a slight softening” since April 2021 (-6%) it is “a marked increase to pre-pandemic preferences when origin was far less of a consideration.”

“Additionally, almost two-thirds (63%) of Australians believe that environmental issues are more critical than ever (+6%) as we become more focused on purchasing sustainable products and brands right now. Australians are only decreasing sustainable behaviours that are against current pandemic rules, such as carpooling and keep cup usage, or where they have hygiene concerns or because it is simply inconvenient.”

“Being a strong brand committed to provenance, value and sustainability is key to connecting with pandemic weary Australians in these uncertain times, but this must be communicated with authenticity.”

Notes for editors:
Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer is the leading study on how the pandemic is influencing consumers’ behaviours, attitudes and expectations. Kantar Australia’s August 2021 Covid-19 Barometer was collected from the responses of 1,000 Australians (nationally representative in terms of age, gender and location) between 29 July and 2 August 2021. Download the infographic.

About Kantar
Kantar is the world’s leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth. www.kantaraustralia.com