African American Consumers and COVID-19

Existing research in the public domain features information on general American consumers, with few reports profiling American consumers based on ethnicity. In this regard, most of the information uncovered speaks for the general American consumer, including African American consumers. In this regard, the report borrows heavily from data for the American consumer since the reports examined lack that segmentation based on demographic factors.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, most Americans, including African Americans, have had to adjust their spending habits and daily routines to accommodate the new changes brought by the virus. Some negative impacts the pandemic has brought to African American consumers include job & wage losses and increasing demand for brands to speak up on social and environmental issues.

  • Many Americans, especially African Americans and Hispanics, have lost their jobs and wages due to COVID-19. As of April 2020, Hispanic adults were hard hit at job and wage losses.
  • About 61% of Hispanic Americans and 44% of African Americans said in April that “they or someone in their household had experienced a job or wage loss” because of COVID-19, versus 38% of white adults.
  • In March, the numbers were down, i.e., 49% of Hispanics, 36% of blacks, and 29% of whites, indicating that more adults of color are likely to lose more jobs and wages as the pandemic progresses.
  • In this regard, people of color are more affected by job and wage losses in the U.S., indicating that their current conditions are worse than the pre-COVID-19 era.
  • Racial discrimination tensions in the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing the U.S. to ask companies to extend support to social and environmental causes. About 68% of U.S. consumers expect brands to clearly define their values and stand by them.
  • Different U.S. ethnicities and demographic groups share varied expectations from brands to act on social and environmental issues. 82% of African Americans show strong support for brands to speak up, versus 79% among Asian Americans and 71% among the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Millennials and Gen Z consumers have expressed concerns regarding brands taking a stand on those issues in order to feel comfortable purchasing from them.
  • Approximately 46% of Millennials and 42% of Gen Z consumers want brands to be brave; however, African-American Gen Xers had a 46% higher composite score than White Gen Xers.

Noticeable Changes in Behaviors towards Big Purchases

Across America, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the American mindset regarding making big purchases. While most consumers intend to postpone making big purchases, some are taking advantage of the current incentives or saved vacation money to buy big-ticket items like cars, home appliances, homes, etc.

Major Themes Arising Due to COVID-19 that Best Describe African American Consumers

Major themes have emerged as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on Americans, especially its disproportionate negative effects on people of color. Nevertheless, these minor communities remain optimistic that their lives will get back to normal once the pandemic is over. Some themes that have emerged during this period are analyzed below.


The general American consumer mindset has been shifting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are mitigating the adverse effects of unemployment resulting from COVID-19 impact on the economy by altering their shopping and consumption mindsets. African Americans, too, are following suit by closely monitoring their shopping and consumption habits, considering this is the most affected demographic by the pandemic.

What African American Consumers Need to Feel Confident to Make Big-ticket Purchases

For consumers to make big purchases, there are many factors they need to consider, including interest rates, economic recovery, and disposable income. Those three items play a crucial role in big-ticket purchases, such as homes and cars. In this regard, African Americans may need more than one factor to feel confident to make big purchases once again.


Black Restaurant Week, Generation, and 54Kibo are examples of brands specifically reaching out to African Americans amidst the economic recession and helping them in many ways, including empowering them, training them to become better entrepreneurs, promoting African culture, etc., and encouraging economic recovery.

Black Restaurant Week



Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Forced Changes in the Restaurant Industry

Previous article

Top Warehouse Picking Technologies Providing Pick-by-Voice Solutions

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in LIVING