As a leading provider of insight and knowledge on the local market and consumer, FN Research conducted a series of online surveys of local respondents throughout the pandemic.  The survey covered a variety of issues such as attitudes to government policy, venturing out, schools’ closures etc and investigated behaviour regarding shopping, Eat out to Help Out Scheme, vaccine uptake amongst other issues.


The article below highlights 4 key trend that emerged over time.

Importance of Family / Friends

Not surprisingly, what did people miss most during lockdown?  Never before was the value of social interaction was greatly missed.  50% missed family and 27% missed interacting with their friends.

 Worries about older family members were heightened, with some suggesting their biggest worry was

 ’My elderly parents being infected’

 However, on a positive note, those within the family bubble had the chance to spend quality time together especially during the earlier lockdowns when time at home was still a novelty

‘Having family home and having great fun creating lovely memories’

There seemed to be a return to traditional values from a ‘make do and mend’ approach to a cooking from scratch ethos. ( driven perhaps by both a need to make cost efficiencies and the availability of more free time.)

 Looking  cooking from scratch ,  4 in 10  respondents were now doing so. 

 This trend was supported by the types of products respondents were buying. What were they buying  more of now. 

  • 27% – Fresh meat
  • 25% – Vegetables
  • 20% – Fruit


38% were also buying fewer ready meals than before COVID-19 19.

Positively a third suggesting they were having more meals together as a family.

There was already growing swell of opinion to shop local pre COVID-19, however this support for local options augmented greatly since ethe first lockdown in March 2020. 

 By May 2020, (during the first lockdown), many respondents were  already using delivery services of local providers. 

  • 32% used local restaurants
  • 24% used bakeries
  • 24% used garden nurseries
  • 21% used fruit and veg shops
  • 16% used butchers


By October 2020 many were shopping more frequently than they did before in local stores, highlighted by the figures below; 

  • 41% Local convenience stores
  • 31% Local butchers
  • 31% Local bakeries
  • 23% Local fruit and veg

Many respondents recognised the fact that life may never return to the ‘old ways’ of pre COVID 19.

 This feeling grew as time went by, 25% in May 2020 suggesting life may never be the same again.

 However, this figure grew to 47% by August 2020. 

 Only time will tell whether this rings true in the long term.

 If you need any further information on the findings from our online surveys during lockdown then please get in touch at