By comparing and cataloguing billions of search interests between October 2019 and November 2020, iPrice Group, a meta-search website operating in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong, unearthed interesting findings about Southeast Asian consumer habits, particularly in the realm of chocolates.
Southeast Asians seek solace in chocolates during Covid-19
Under normal circumstances, interest in chocolate rises and falls in accordance with public holidays. For instance, chocolate receives heightened attention every February and March (fresh off Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year) before losing its audience around April. Come Halloween and Christmas, however, sales soar again.
2020 saw a break from the usual pattern in that chocolate was still a hot topic well into April; note that this was just as the pandemic was starting to sink its talons into the world. Furthermore, Google searches for chocolate during Halloween and Christmas 2020 were respectively 89 and 91 per cent higher than the previous year.
As a whole, 2020 saw a significant surge—74 per cent—in Southeast Asia's obsession with chocolate.