Gin, Crisps And Ready Meals Are Keeping The Nation’s Spirits Up During Lockdown

21 April, 20

In lockdown, we are all looking for ways to enjoy a “Big Night In” and it seems that the nation is finding collective comfort in gin, crisps and ready meals, according to proquo ai’s Covid-19 brand impact monitor.

Hendricks in particular has seen a surge in popularity with new customers, helped by the goodwill generated when it repurposed some of its production facilities to make hand sanitiser. William Grant & Sons’ gin brand has seen a 106% uplift in Clarity (how clear a brand’s purpose is), 84% in Attraction, 81% in Connection and 79% in empathy since lockdown started on 23 March up to 8 April.

Gin O’Clock has become a regular highlight in some people’s weeks, with one respondent saying: “I never used to drink gin but now I have a little on the weekend. Me and the neighbours have started buying different flavours, and we meet up and have a social-distancing gin tasting night.”

Mixers are also benefiting from the trend, with Fentimans, Fever-Tree and Schweppes all attracting new customers and boosting their male fan base, together driving uplifts in brand perceptions of around 7% for many of proquo ai’s brand indicators.

A cocktail goes hand in hand with a salty snack, so it makes sense that premium crisp brands are also gaining popularity with new users, as many of us look for small treats to see us through.

Walkers Sensations (which has just announced a Film4 sponsorship) has shot up 93% on the value for money driver and 23% on attraction; Tyrells’ empathy score is up 30% and consistency 19%; while Kettle Chips’ connection rating is up 49% and its relevance is up 36% – all among people who hadn’t previously been fans.

Despite all the social media pressure to be creative in the kitchen, people are clearly keen to take time off from the chores, which means that ready meals and frozen food brands have both been gaining new fans in the lockdown.

Among previous non-users, Birds Eye is up 43% in empathy; Young’s is up 17% in consistency; and Whitby is up 11% in clarity and value for money. Of the ready meal brands, Charlie Bigham’s is up 17% in empathy and 16% in popularity; M&S ready meals are up 11% in empathy (understanding people’s needs at this time), and COOK is up 11% in attraction and 9% in empathy.

Craft beer is also gaining popularity, particularly among women, with BrewDog and Goose Island beers further boosting perceptions in the lockdown thanks to their decision to produce hand sanitizer.

For women, Goose Island is seen as 7% easier to relate to (connection) and 7% more empathetic, while BrewDog has gone up 9% in attraction and 8% in popularity. Hop House has seen value for money up by 7% and performance up by 6% for the same audience.

Jim Brennan, Managing Director of proquo ai, said:

“Our platform gathers people’s feelings towards brands 24/7 so it’s been fascinating to see the immediate impact of Covid-19 and related lockdown on public perception. People are not only changing their daily routines, but are also interacting with brands they wouldn’t normally use outside of a crisis. Brands that understand what people need at this time – and work to meet these needs – will ultimately be the ones which succeed.”

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