Consumers are making changes in 2021. Are you prepared?

A recent poll of our LifePoints panelists shows that 76% of people are making changes in their personal lives through New Year intentions.
25 January 2021
2021 resolutions intentions covid
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A New Year has begun and, whilst many challenges continue, consumers are setting out with new intentions for 2021. In fact, over 76% of people are planning to make changes in their personal lives in the year ahead.

Understanding audiences and the changes they are undergoing is critical for brands to navigate the world they operate in, now and in the future. So, what are people planning to do differently in 2021?

A focus on health and fitness

A recent poll of Kantar’s LifePoints panelists shows that improving their fitness and overall health is the most prominent focus. 1 in 3 (30%) report to want to make changes here in 2021, from exercising more to dieting. The poll shows that this desire is highest in Asia, especially in Mainland China where almost half (43%) report this as a focus for the year ahead.

health fitness intentions

Whilst this is a common resolution made by many each year, 2020 had an impact on how we view and approach healthy eating. According to Kantar Worldpanel 2020 data, the sale of Carbonated Soft Drinks in Mainland China continued to boom into the recovery phase; however, there was a new focus on healthier options. Soft drinks that were low/zero sugar became increasingly popular, with more people reporting that they chose them for health reasons. 

We know consumers paid more attention to the nutritional and immunity benefits of food, with Milk seeing a 20% category value growth in China (thanks partly to marketing messaging around probiotics) and Chawanprash & Honey seeing strong category growth in India, where there is definitely an increased interest in products that talk about “immunity”. 

In the UK, the initial lockdown period saw consumers less likely to choose healthy options when it came to food, but the revenue for exercise-related brands grew, some by 172% year on year. Will we see continued interest?

Saving in 2021

For 14% of polled LifePoints panelists, saving more is an intention for the year ahead. German respondents are the most likely to want to save (17%), followed by the US and India (14%).


It may not seem surprising that this was the second most reported resolution across all markets, both because this is a good intention many set out to achieve each year, but also because lifestyles have been put on hold by the global pandemic.

As people worry about finances, a focus on saving (rather than spending) makes plenty of sense. Our COVID-19 Barometer revealed that financial concerns were outweighing health concerns, and that young people in particular are worried about finances (78% of 18-34 year olds said their household income has or will be impacted by coronavirus, compared to 71% overall.) It's not only financial services brands who can play a role in easing these fears.

The possibility of travel and family time

Whilst the lifting of restrictions and opening of borders is out of their control, and in keeping with intentions we’ve tracked via social media listening, 1 in 10 LifePoints panelists intend to travel more and spend more time with family and friends when this is made possible again.

UK respondents show more inclination to travel (11%) than to see family and friends (7%). US respondents favor seeing family and friends (8%) over travel (7%).

travel 2021

family covid intentions

Work-life balance for 2021

The importance of work-life balance is reported to varying degrees across the countries we polled. It is as high as 11% and 10% in China and India respectively but as low as 3% in Germany.

Whether you have a question you want answers to for planning the year ahead, or you're looking for a pulse check around the impact of the pandemic, Kantar can help you better understand people to inspire growth in 2021 and beyond.

This poll was conducted using Kantar’s Proprietary LifePoints panel in January 2021, n=5083 in the US, UK, Germany, India and Mainland China

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