Strange days indeed. Data is the lifeblood of many businesses and ours is no different. But, in times of uncertainty it can bring, at minimum, comfort. Currently, many people feel unnerved by the lack of data and clarity. This series is our attempt to share macro business data to assist in calming the nerves and possibly help you create an action plan. We will look at data across many industries in this series. The data is changing day by day just like the news. So, we will create updated posts as the data changes.

Let’s start with the obvious.

In this first article, we look at some areas that have most obviously been impacted by the virus both positively and negatively. The data below is from Google – and is free. These charts show the search volume for specific terms. The charts are an index view so the numbers you see are not raw search volume but are compared against each other.

We chose to look at the past 5 years and the US only.


The trend of staying home has caused a shift in how people get their food. These searches are at historic highs. We are hearing through clients (both food kit delivery and restaurant) that the demand is outpacing their supplies in some instances. But that should self-correct with a little time.

More cooking from home?

Output – All in all, food delivery and cooking from home have positive trends and if you are in that space and have the means (ie cash), you should be taking market share, building your house file, promoting these services, and the precautions you are taking in the wake of Covid-19, and be diligent in managing your supply. Front foot action is recommended.

Consumer Products

The below is more discretionary spending. As you will see not tons of positive in this grouping. One oddity in this group is cosmetics and lingerie are currently not experiencing as significant a drop as other categories. The lipstick effect theory (yes it is a real thing) could explain the cosmetic category (hat tip to the CEO of Dolls Kill for this). Then maybe lingerie could be explained by more time at home with your mate!

The lipstick effect is the theory that when facing an economic crisis consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods. Instead of buying expensive fur coats, for example, people will buy expensive lipstick.

Output – Consumer discretionary spending or non-essential spending is the first to be cut in tough times. Not a lot of sunshine in this group but birthdays, anniversaries, and other events continue on and gift-giving will continue at some level. Depending on the economics of your target audience, weathering this storm is possible. One bright note looking forward is that if your company can make it to the other side, there will be less competition (bleak, but true). From what I have currently read, the end of Q3 or start of Q4 is when the estimated “bounce back” will begin. The recommendation is to be agile.


Lots of historic search volume highs. Both industry and consumer needs are driving many of these trends.

Output – Fairly obvious but if your company is playing this space you have an opportunity.


In the coming posts, we will be covering the travel industry, working from home (WFH), education, finance, enterprise technology, divorce and more.

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