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Shopping Habits in the Time of Coronavirus. How Lockdown Changed our Taste in Baby Toys
- Gaynor Humphrey
We know that people have changed the way they shop, and what they buy during Lockdown. The soaring demand for pasta and tinned goods and the inexplicable toilet roll hoarding was the first sign that Coronavirus was having a dramatic effect on the products people prioritised on their shopping lists.
Then as reality struck jigsaw puzzles, traditional games and baking goods became popular as we looked for ways to fill our days without resorting to long hours of Netflix. Sporting equipment also became popular as the more fit among us exchanged gym trips for garden workouts.
But there were also subtler changes. Deliveroo revealed that the number of single meal orders had dropped from being over half of all orders to under a third as families treated themselves to a delivery. This was also reflected in the peak delivery hour dropping from 7.30pm to 7.00pm
Whereas all these changes have been well documented we wonder if the changes have been even more wide spread than these headlines suggest. We have been selling baby toys and baby rattles for almost 20 years but we have never seen a more dramatic change in the designs and colours of the baby toys that our customers chose to buy than during Lockdown.
Our knitted baby toys are tactile and robust so we do sell a lot for people wanting to give unique baby gifts. For the last 10 years our most popular baby toys have always been our orange Diplodocus toy or our green T Rex toy. People know us for our brightly coloured knitted dinosaurs and there were some people who didn’t even know that we also had a range of baby gifts suitable from birth.
However all this changed during Lockdown. Overnight our knitted white bunny rattle became our bestselling toy with only our pink dinosaur baby rattle getting anywhere close. Our Black and White baby toys soared in popularity, especially the black and white octopus rattle. We do still sell a lot of dinosaur toys but it is our yellow dinosaur and our dodo baby rattle that have shot in to our top ten best sellers.
The one baby rattle we knew would become very popular was our fair trade crochet rainbow rattle which for obvious reasons has become one of our best selling baby rattles.
Sensory toys are always a great choice for baby gifts so it made perfect sense for us that they became more popular, but the increased popularity of pastel colours was less easy to figure out.
Perhaps more people bought pastels because they were putting together different baby gifts and Mum pampering products to send through the post. It’s much easier to match a white bunny with other products than a bright green t rex toy! And some people would choose pastel shades because they were matching their baby gift with the colour of the nursery or pram. Our pink dinosaur would definitely look great in a new nursery.
It could even be that more traditional colours become more popular when everything else is in a state of confusion.
As lockdown is loosened and more businesses open we are looking forward to finding out if this change is permanent or if our orange diplodocus and green t rex toys will once again become our most popular baby toys.