Shoppers trying new brands and paying more than usual during the pandemic

Posted by Media Release Agency on 22nd April 2020

A report compiled by The Toluna and Harris Interactive that was conducted on April 9 2020, shows several new trends in Australians shopping habits.

The report based on a cross-sectional study involving 1046 Australian shoppers showed that 29% of shoppers across Australia are willing to try new products as substitutes for their missing favorites. At least 31% indicated a willingness to seek alternative brands.

The study showed a staggering 52% of shoppers willing to pay more for products that they used to buy for a cheaper price before the pandemic, even though 68% of Aussie shoppers have foregone a missing product without replacement.


  • Tried a new product when they couldn’t purchase what they usually buy (29%)
  • Tried buying from a new brand when they couldn’t buy from their usual brand (31%)
  • Had to shop around when they couldn’t find something in store (41%)
  • Paid more for something that they would typically buy pre-COVID-19 (52%)
  • Gone without something they would usually buy (68%)

Many shoppers ok to try new brands
With usual brands out of stock over the last few weeks, shoppers have had to choose an alternative. However, a large majority were ok to switch brands, as long as they were purchasing the same type of product:

  • Nearly half (45%) will not buy a different product when it comes to personal toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shampoo, or paper goods (42%) such as toilet paper or wipes, but they will invest in a different brand
  • 37% of respondents are happy to purchase a different brand of alcohol but not a different type of alcohol
  • 35% of people are willing to buy a different brand of soft drink but not a different type of soft drink.

Aussies continue to shop in-store
Despite the risk of infection, most respondents have shopped in grocery stores (79%) over the past two weeks, while only 20% have shopped online. However, these high numbers are likely due to restrictions on online delivery and the cancellation of click and collect services by major grocery stores.

Despite the difficulties getting what they need, the majority of shoppers (69%) feel supported by their retailers.


Lucia Juliano, Senior Researcher at Harris Interactive and Toluna, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing interesting sentiments among consumers. Brand loyalty is still important for people but when forced to choose between brand and product when their preferred brand isn’t available, they will turn to an alternative product.

“We (Harris Interactive and Toluna) are strongly committed to providing these insights, garnered from an Australian panel within Toluna’s 30+ million member community, on a regular, timely basis throughout the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. By doing so, the broader market can be kept informed of people’s sentiments as they change during these uncertain times.”

About Toluna

Toluna is a technology company connecting brands with consumers for digital qualitative and quantitative research. Toluna is powered by an innovative platform, best-in-class methodologies and a community panel that is 30+ million members strong. An ITWP company, we employ 1,400 people in 24 offices across six continents. Please visit us at

About Harris Interactive Harris Interactive is an award-winning, full service digital research consultancy that makes complex decision easier by providing actionable consumer insights. We offer the perfect combination of research expertise and technology to keep our clients ahead of whatever is next in their industries. Our strengths include brand, new product development and consumer and employee research in both B2B and B2C markets. For more information on Harris Interactive, an ITWP company, visit