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News Article

Pandemic Motivated Health Behavior, Consumption Shift

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 12/08/2021 - 09:21

Mexican consumer trends shifted during 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, found a report by Bain & Company. In these shifts, Mexicans shifted to healthier habits and increased their concern about mental health issues.

“COVID-19 has had a positive impact on the lives of 40 percent of consumers,” concluded Bain & Company’s study. Consumers who register a positive change report feeling more appreciative for their lives and their families’, as well as more concerned about their health and interested in their wellbeing.

Along the same lines, 54 percent of consumers say they now eat healthier foods than before the pandemic regardless of whether they registered a positive or negative change in their lives. In addition, 43 percent of those surveyed report having lost weight, 22 percent are drinking less or stopped drinking and 17 percent are smoking less or quit altogether.

The study also estimates that, after the pandemic, Mexican consumers spend more time in physical activities, since only 7 percent have exercised outdoors during the pandemic. Bain & Company estimates that this index will grow to 44 percent once people consider that COVID-19 is no longer a risk.

Those who reported a negative change mention that as a result of the pandemic their feelings of sadness, stress, anxiety and depression grew significantly during the past year.

“One of the positive aspects of the pandemic is that there is no return to the stigma people had about mental health. Psychiatrists became more important than ever after the lockdowns and other measures that COVID-19 brought,” said Edilberto Peña de León, Director General, CISNE México, to MBN. About 70 percent of the global population changed their sleeping patterns during the pandemic and depressive disorders increased by 20 percent, he added.

E-pharmacy & e-doctor services at scale were other services that grew out of customer behaviors, according to a study by McKinsey & Company. Despite this trend being determinant for the industry, McKinsey found that e-commerce penetration in pharmacy is lower than in most industries, but efforts are being taken to revert this trend.

In Latin America for instance, e-pharmacies experienced one of the sharpest growth rates with 12 percent CAGR (2013-2017). General electronic commerce in Mexico reached MX$316 billion in 2020, having experienced a growth of 81 percent compared to the previous year. This growth was mainly propelled by food delivery, fashion items and beauty and personal care, followed closely by pharmacy and supermarket sales. The latter two were uncommon candidates prior to the pandemic.

As for telemedicine services, the use of videoconference grew 25 times during 2020, according to Enrique Culebro, Director, Central Media, during his participation on MHS 2021. “These opened big opportunities not only for telemedicine but for doctors’ constant medical learning and communication.”

Photo by:   Pickawood on Unsplash
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst