Time to shift your behind? Appetite for takeaways, TV and TikTok surged during lockdown

The lockdowns have seen an increase in a more sedentary lifestyle.

IPA Touchpoints: revealed a growing appetite for sofa-based activities (Photo: Erik Von Weber/Getty Images)
IPA Touchpoints: revealed a growing appetite for sofa-based activities (Photo: Erik Von Weber/Getty Images)

With much of the nation confined to their homes for this year’s national lockdown, it should come as little surprise that people's sedentary lifestyles saw a hefty gain in their appetite for takeaways. 

IPA data shows the number of people ordering in increased 45% from the level before the pandemic struck, and viewers spent 17% more time watching TV. 

But takeaways and TV were not the only vices – the number of 15- to 24-year-olds using TikTok more than tripled. 

The analysis examines the ways in which the latest (2021) lockdown affected the lifestyles, media choices and communication habits of UK consumers between now, the first lockdown in 2020 and pre-lockdown 2020. 

According to the comprehensive TouchPoints dataset, the proportion of people getting takeaways or food deliveries during the first lockdown in 2020 rose only slightly, from 14.5% to 15.3%. This figure, however, surged in this year's lockdown to 21%, revealing that consumers have increasingly turned to takeaways to add some excitement to long stretches spent at home.

When looking at the 15-24s age bracket, this trend was echoed. The proportion of this group getting takeaways rose from 21.9% to 24.4% during the first lockdown, and then to 30.4% this year.

The data also found that consumers were watching TV for an average four hours, 29 minutes per day, up 17% from pre-lockdown 2020. 

It also reveals interesting generational trends as to how the different age groups watched TV and video during lockdown 2021. Among all adults, 66% of TV and video viewing was live or recorded. But while this rose to 89% for over-55s, it was just 27% among 15-34s.

Meanwhile, the category of "other video" (shorter and longer online video) took a 7% share of TV and video viewing for all adults – but it was 19% for 15-34s and just 1% for over-55s. Paid-for on-demand video was up to a 40% share for 15-34s compared with 5% for over-55s (19% for all adults).

The popularity of TikTok soared for 15-24s, reaching 43% of them – up significantly from 13% pre-2020 lockdown and 30% during that lockdown. For all adults this stood at 11.5% in lockdown 2021, up from 4.1% and 7.3%. 

IPA research director Belinda Beeftink said: “Our TouchPoints data began as a one-off survey back in 2006, then became a biannual and then annual survey. In 2020 we released two waves of data, which we will do again this year. This allows a unique opportunity to understand as fully as we can the impact of lockdown as it unfolded, providing invaluable insights pre-, during and post-lockdown.

“These latest figures provide tangible evidence on our suspected hunches and reveal consumers’ real hunger for video content and fast food. It also reveals interesting insights into how some good intentions from the first lockdown perhaps slipped into bad habits in lockdown 2021, as we grew increasingly weary and less communicative.”