A different holiday season for Gen Z and Millennials in DRC

COVID-19 is still impacting over 40 percent of respondents polled in DRC but for Gen Z, life is almost back to normal


  • Consumer life and daily routines impacted by the pandemic

  • Significant differences in changes in daily routines for Gen Z (18 to 24 years old) and Millennials (25 to 34 years old) reflect the challenges of managing the pandemic

  • COVID-19 and change in life/daily routines may bring added complexity for retailers this holiday season


Despite the relatively low reported case, the life and daily routines of our consumers in DRC have been impacted by the pandemic.


With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across the world, the holiday season this year is likely to be very different from previous years. While the world is slowly recovering from the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 thanks to the distribution of vaccinations, it is still hard to imagine that the holiday season is going to resemble that of those prior to the pandemic. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is no exception to the pandemic. With 54,009 cases recorded from the beginning of the pandemic till now, November 2021, the country and the people have grappled with significant shifts in their lifestyles and routines.


Additionally, the economic strains of the pandemic have been particularly difficult for the DRC due to the country's already high and now increasing poverty rates. Overall, Congolese are having to make certain changes to their lifestyles for the safety of their health and others' health, but they must also allocate resources/money differently due to the effects of the pandemic.




According to Kasi Insight’s Retail in DRC - COVID-19 Impact poll, conducted amongst 1,200 respondents between April and December 2021, the most significant change in respondents' routines is the general avoidance of public and often crowded spaces. Overall 40 percent of consumers have changed their daily routines as a result of the pandemic compared to 26 percent who have not changed their daily routines. When it comes to what has changed, avoiding using public transport (e.g. bus/ commuter taxis/trains) ranks first for 26 percent, followed by avoiding going to public spaces such as restaurants, movie theatres, etc. for 20 percent of the respondents. Other public spaces or gatherings such as funerals and parties are also commonly avoided by Congolese with 17 percent of respondents suggesting this.



Significant differences in changes in daily routines for Gen Z (18 to 24 years old) and Millennials (25 to 34 years old) reflect the challenges of managing the pandemic


When it comes to the impact of COVID-19 across age groups, the poll revealed surprising insights. For most consumers, changes to daily routines are related to avoiding public or crowded places but when looking at age groups, we start to see notable differences.


For Millennials, avoiding public transport is mostly how COVID-19 has impacted daily routines while for Gen Z the majority of respondents have not changed their daily routines. In fact, avoiding public transport comes in 4th place for this age group. This finding is expected as COVID-19 health impact is less damaging for the younger population. It is widely known now that COVID-19 health effects have been severe for older people and less for younger people.



COVID-19 and change in life/daily routines may bring added complexity for retailers this holiday season


Understanding the daily lives/routines of Congolese living through the impacts of COVID-19 can tell us a lot about what consumer life in DRC will look like going forward. Congolese in general, with the exception of Gen Z, are choosing to avoid public and commonly crowded spaces almost 2 years after the start of the pandemic. Even though Gen Z seems to be less impacted, the reality is they don't have the buying power of Millennials or Gen X.