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Will Poles be able to go on holiday this year?

Consumers expect that the coronavirus will continue to affect the situation in Europe for the coming year. Poles share this view, although they are moderately optimistic when it comes to the situation in their country and shorten this period to 6 months. They have already changed how they shop, take care of themselves and their homes, spend their free time and consider their summer holiday plans. Nielsen analysed 18 markets to see which changes will stay with us for longer.


“Nielsen identified 6 stages of consumer behaviour in relation to the pandemic. The final stage – the “new normal” – will begin when schools and workplaces reopen and consumers return to their lifestyle before the pandemic; however, this will also involve many new elements. Working from home and staying at home will become more popular. Unlimited and smooth Internet access will be the key. We will observe an increase in online grocery shopping in the retail and distribution sector, so it is important to offer products that encourage clients to continue shopping online. Consumers will expect products that make their everyday life at home easier, including those that help them prepare meals using pre-made ingredients and available recipes. Even now we observe an increasing interest in healthy and antibacterial products that help us maintain good hygiene and cleanliness. We will start appreciating the local perspective, when it comes to both food and travel,” says Beata Kaczorek, Director of Consumer Surveys at Nilsen Connect in Poland.

More than half of Poles, 60%, similarly to residents in France, Spain and Portugal, think that the coronavirus will continue to shape the European reality for the coming 4-12 months. However, they are more optimistic when it comes to the forecast about the situation in their countries and 78% of them expect that it will last for a maximum of 6 months. Less optimistic respondents claim it may last longer. These include the residents of Germany – 31%, the Netherlands – 26% and the United Kingdom – 21%. This new situation has changed the way people shop. Poles (80%), Italians (78%) and the French (71%) admit that they review their shopping requirements and frequency, and buy less in large-format stores.

The fact that the pandemic forces us to stay at home also affects the way we eat. For more than half of the consumers in Greece, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, eating at home is normal, but the biggest transformation can be seen in Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Spain. At the same time, very few European consumers decided to choose food delivery, instead deciding to cook more frequently at home, and 54% of Poles confirm this. Consumers claim that cooking and eating at home may become a new habit and a crucial part of their life in the coming months.

Not only does the current situation change shopping behaviour, it also affects the way Poles maintain good hygiene and cleanliness at home. Here two statements come up: more frequently and more. Poles say: we take care of ourselves – we wash our hands more frequently (84%), we use more antibacterial products (55%), we wash our faces and bathe more frequently (43%). We keep things clean: we do the washing and clean our houses more often because we wash our clothes more frequently (43%), we wash them at a higher temperature (32%), we use more detergent (21%). We take care of our houses: we clean our houses more often (50%), we clean our bathrooms more often (39%), and we use stronger detergents (21%).

Apart from shopping and cleaning, we have some time left for entertainment, currently mostly online. Poles read more online (56%), they watch films on streaming services (54%) and spend time browsing through social media (52%).

Nielsen also asked Poles about their summer holiday plans. 62% of the respondents claim that travelling abroad in the second half of 2020 is unlikely. They expect that they will spend their free time in Poland or visit friends and family. Those who have already planned their trips were mostly going to stay in Poland (39%) or go to Greece (15%), Spain (10%), Germany and Italy (both 9%). One in 10 Poles have already cancelled their summer holiday and nearly 1/3 of them are still waiting for the situation to develop before they make their final decision to keep or cancel their plans. 58% of Poles have not planned their holiday yet; however it will be hard to convince them to use travel agency services.

The syndicate analysis “The Influence of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour” by Nielsen evaluated 18 European markets, using the online panel method from 13 to 27 March 2020. For more information, please visit:


Barbara Tokarz
Marketing & Communications Manager at Nielsen Polska
phone: 885 580 551, e-mail: barbara.tokarz@nielsen.com