Study: Germans consume less and more consciously

Photo: passer-by in the Düsseldorfer Kö (via dts news agency)
Photo: passer-by in the Düsseldorfer Kö (via dts news agency)

Berlin (dts news agency) – The corona crisis has permanently changed consumer behavior in Germany. This is the conclusion reached by the social and future researcher Horst Opaschowski in a current study which the newspapers of the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” report in their Wednesday editions. The Institute for Future Research in Hamburg, headed by Opaschowski, asked 1,000 people to what extent the corona crisis had changed their attitude towards life.
Around three out of five respondents (58 percent) stated that they had become more moderate and more modest when it came to consuming and spending and still not missing anything. “In times of crisis, consumption becomes less important because maintaining the quality of life becomes more important than increasing the standard of living,” Opaschowski told the RND. Instead of “more and more”, it is more a question of reducing consumer wishes to a realistic and achievable level. Attitudes from the post-war and pre-prosperity times would also be rediscovered: “What I need, I have. What I don’t have, I don’t need”. According to the study, women have reduced their consumption even more than men. Two out of three women (65 percent) stated that they consciously refrain from going shopping.

For men, that was only every second (52 percent). According to Opaschowski, this will pose major challenges for retailers. “Women must be recaptured as a target group for experience consumption,” he told the RND. From the perspective of the futurologist, the new modesty of consumers does not only have positive effects.

“When strolling and the desire to shop are in danger of getting lost in distance and mask times, then life becomes more boring.” The triad of shopping, cinema and eating out, which is now falling by the wayside, “has not only been a welcome change in the last thirty years, but for many people life itself, which is worth working for”.