COVID-19 essentials top 2021 Christmas lists | Inquirer Business

COVID-19 essentials top 2021 Christmas lists

/ 05:01 AM October 15, 2021

Graphic by Daniella Agacer

With the onset of the holiday season, one would think that consumers would take a break from buying COVID-19 essentials. However, with the lingering pandemic, the opposite has become true.

The “MKS Pandemic Millennial and Gen Z Consumer Study”, based on a survey conducted late last year by MKS Marketing Consulting among 158 millennials and Generation Zs, revealed that Covid-19 essentials, which include face masks, disinfectants, alcohol, face shields and sanitizers, remain important even during special occasions.


The study with a +/-8 percent margin of error and 95 percent confidence level provides insights into how the Filipino millennials and Gen Zs think and buy during special occasions.


Dining out

Today, Covid-19 essentials compete with dining out as well as clothing and footwear, cosmetics and perfume and high fashion designer brands for share of wallet, even during special occasions such as Christmas.

Other special occasions include birthdays, moving up events, graduations and anniversaries.

On these other special occasions, both the millennials and Gen Zs respondents said they would spend on dining out, followed by dining at home and then clothing and footwear. Cosmetics and perfume remain important for the younger Gen Zs but the millennials who have started to travel prepandemic are once more looking seriously at this category.

Still, Covid-19 essentials and medicines remain an important category so long as the pandemic remains omnipresent.

Buying behavior

Buying behavior is likely to change, however, as soon as the pandemic is effectively managed, either upon reaching herd immunity or having easier access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Postpandemic, both travel and clothing and footwear have become the primary categories to spend on for the millennials and Gen Zs. Likewise, the mobile phone, which was a must-buy before the pandemic struck the Philippines in March 2020, is expected to once again be a highly sought-after item, which was not the case at the height of the pandemic that made people hold on to their cash.


With the shift to granular lockdowns and more sectors of the economy opening up following the recent decline in COVID-19 cases, this last quarter should see consumers becoming more motivated to spend.

Last quarter

However, it is also during the last quarter when every brand and category will compete against each other for space in the consumers’ mind.

It is during this quarter when a dominant market leader or challenger brand earns its keep, outdoing all laggards in the category.

While times are hard, many factors will contribute to leveling up consumerism in this quarter.

Additional disposable income triggered by the mandated 13th month and bonuses for some, OFW (overseas Filipino worker) money, cultural gift giving behavior are among the many reasons why consumers are likely to spend more in the last quarter.

Brands which sustained efforts to keep their brand in the consumers’ memory are likely to emerge the big winners during this most wonderful time of the year. —contributed INQ

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De Asis is chief brand strategist of MKS Marketing Consulting and a member of the Global Strategic Consulting Network. She can be reached at [email protected]

TAGS: holiday season

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