Younger adults are eager to visit businesses

With the UK economy restarting after lockdown, we wanted to understand which age group was most eager to visit businesses. Younger adults are currently in the headlines as the age group that is driving the resurgence of coronavirus into a second wave and we wanted to see if this was reflective of the group who are confident to be back visiting businesses.

Spark Emotions is a market research agency, who specialises in shopper research, online research and understanding the emotions of the nation. We differ from other insight agencies by combining consumer psychology with industry expertise to generate actionable insights, proven to deliver business growth.

Since lockdown started in March many businesses had to close. Hairdressers and barbers, cafes, restaurants, gyms and many others had to close their doors to the public to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. In July, these businesses started to reopen as lockdown lifted but many people were still feeling anxious.

Eat Out to Help Out

From the 3rd of August, the government introduced a 50% discount on food and drink with their Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which at least 72,000 businesses have signed up for (BBC). The scheme was a bid to encourage people to spend money in restaurants and alleviate the pressure on the two million people who work in this industry. The Government deemed the initiative to be a success – with £50 million spent on the scheme in the first week (with 10.5 million meals claimed) and our September Mood of the Nation report found that 1 in 4 UK adults participated in the scheme.

What the UK told us

In our report, we asked more than 1000 UK residents to tell us whether they had taken advantage of the scheme and our results showed that young adults were the most likely to participate in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. 37% of 18-24 year olds said that they had eaten out with the scheme whereas only 13% of 55-64 year olds did. In fact, 38% of over 45s did not participate due to direct concerns about Coronavirus.

We found a similar pattern when we asked whether they had visited any businesses (hairdressers/barbers, pubs, cafes, restaurants, beauty salons, gyms) since they reopened in July. While older generations were more likely to have visited a hairdresser or barber, the younger generations were much more likely to have visited pubs and bars, cafes and restaurants, gyms and beauty salons. The data suggests that younger adults are keen to get back to the level of socialising that they missed out on over the lockdown period and they do not fear the risk of catching the virus like the older population do.

These findings demonstrate how important it is to understand your brand’s demographic. While younger adults are keen to get back to normal, older customers will require more reassurance around COVID-19 precautions.

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