Behind the hype: what the stats say about consumer behaviour


// Panic buying may have gripped the headlines, but the majority of Aussies did NOT stock up on essentials, stats reveal…

Important information about COVID-19 can be found at:

Latest Government support for business in relation to COVID-19 can be found at:

Live consumer behaviour data relevant to businesses can be found at:

At the time of publication, there are 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia, with only one death recorded, and two local transmissions.

Most cases from those who’ve returned from overseas travel is United States (42), with 44 cases undisclosed.

Country Number of Cases
United States42
*including Diamond Princess
France 6
Malaysia, Switzerland, Thailand3
Indonesia, South Korea2
Austria, Cuba, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iceland, Nepal1

Where’s the foot traffic?

While widespread panic buying features on headlines, UNO Group Consumer Trend Monitoring has found that only 43% of Australians stocked up on essentials

Source: UNO Group & Co

For those out buying, 66% didn’t purchase items they needed, with most preferring the big two supermarkets, followed by Aldi, Costco, and others.

Source: UNO Group & Co

How much traffic is going online?

Despite the ongoing calls for consumers to go online to avoid close contact, only 11% of survey respondents stated that COVID-19 changed their online grocery behaviour.

For those shopping online, 29% said they started heading online because of the pandemic, with the vast majority of these being long time online shoppers.

What are people buying online?

The UNO Group shows an overwhelming number of consumers purchasing hand sanitiser, tissues, and other cleaning items online, with groceries and other essentials further down the list alongside over-the-counter medicines such as cold and flu tablets.

Source: UNO Group & Co

What else do I need to know?

Many sources, including the ABC, are reminding younger people to not be complacent.

Not only can younger people transmit the disease to older members of the public, many young people are also succumbing to COVID-19.

Dr Norman Swan explained on ABC’s 7.30 that both in China and Italy, thirty to forty year olds with “no obvious risk factors” were also dying from COVID-19.


Note: These figures were drawn from live data by UNO, and are constantly changing.

The data was correct at time of publication.

The UNO Group Consumer Trend Monitoring is a free, biweekly update on consumer trends designed to help Australian businesses, please see the UNO Group website for more details.

Main image: Pixabay