‘Polarised' consumer attitudes to eating and drinking out have been seen in China's bar and restaurant markets including in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 crisis, since lockdown restrictions were lifted, according to a report by CGA.
The data, collected from 2,000 consumers in China's most developed bar and restaurant markets in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Wuhan between 7-11 May, shows an "almost exactly 50/50 split" between those who have been out and those who haven't, with "mainstream and fine dining restaurants" being the outlets that consumers feel most comfortable visiting, followed by cafes and fast food outlets.
Of the 48% of consumers who have been out to eat and drink, the majority have done so "multiple times". However two-thirds of those yet to go out were "not planning to in the next month".
Responding to the data, CGA's global chief executive Phil Tate said: "This even split in a market in which eating and drinking out was a previously fundamental part of daily life, highlights the apprehensive nature of consumers to go out again, as well as the precautions required to persuade consumers back into the out of home market."
The research showed that nightclubs and leisure venues ranked as the outlets that consumers feel "least confident" about visiting.
It has been suggested that the data could offer an indication as to how consumers in the UK might respond when the lockdown is fully lifted and how outlets and suppliers may need to adapt to new behaviours and restrictions, including reduced disposable incomes.