Will lockdown spending habits will continue post COVID?

Lockdown has seen people buy their groceries from the comfort of their own home and replace a night at the theater with Netflix on the couch - and that's likely to continue post pandemic, according to a new report released Thursday (March 18) by McKinsey.

The analysis is based on surveys of consumers in China, France, Germany, the UK, and the United States.

Online grocery shopping was one big winner, with its share of total grocery spend doubling in some countries over the past year, rising to around 10% in the United States.

McKinsey also found that older shoppers, once hesitant to use e-grocery shopping, were forced to do so out of necessity – and are likely to keep the habit after the pandemic.

It's a similar story for at-home entertainment services, with more than 60% of consumers across the five countries saying they intended to maintain some subscriptions they started during lockdown.

That could signal a longer term drop in demand for cinemas and theaters.

Over one in five consumers surveyed said leisure travel was one of the top activities they were excited about restarting post-pandemic - but whether routes and prices they were used to will still be available is an unknown.

McKinsey expects business travel to drop by 20% after the pandemic, pressuring airlines which previously subsidized leisure seats with profits from business class.

While leisure travel demand will not drop, airlines may be forced to offer fewer direct routes, and bump up prices to recoup the shortfall from business.