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How COVID-19 is changing consumer behavior—now and forever

Consumers are shifting behaviors across eight areas of life.

As the world begins its slow pivot from COVID-19 crisis management to recovery and the reopening of economies, it’s clear that lockdown has had a profound impact on how people live. The period of contagion, self-isolation, and economic uncertainty will change the way consumers behave—in some cases for years to come.

New consumer behaviors span all areas of life, from how we work to how we shop to how we entertain ourselves. These rapid shifts have important implications for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies. Many of the longer-term changes in consumer behavior are still forming, giving companies an opportunity to help shape the next normal.

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About the author(s)

Victor Fabius is a partner in McKinsey’s Paris office, Sajal Kohli is a senior partner in the Chicago office, Björn Timelin is a senior partner in the London office, and Sofia Moulvad Veranen is an associate partner in the Singapore office.

The authors would like to thank Christoffer Breum, Marco Catena, Becca Coggins, Jörn Küpper, Simona Kulakauskaite, Luiz Lima, Jaana Remes, Kelsey Robinson, Hamid Samandari, Raghavendra Uthpala, and Naomi Yamakawa for their contribution to this article.

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