Weight gain during COVID-19, especially in younger consumers, leads to changes in the way Americans eat and dress

Many Americans have added the dreaded “COVID-19 pounds” or more during the pandemic, which could have a lasting impact on food businesses, health and wellness businesses, and clothing brands and retailers, according to Barclays.

The bank’s credit analysts cite data sources showing an average American weight gain of 1.5 to 2 pounds per month during the lockdown with younger consumers, including millennials, earning more than Gen X and baby boomers. Weight gain also increased for those who were on lockdown restrictions for a longer period.

Many companies have said they expect certain eating habits developed during COVID to continue after the pandemic is over, such as eating at home.

Read: “The Covid 15? If only – this is the weight the average person actually gained during the pandemic

“In 2018, if we had proposed that the Millennial and Gen Z demographics would have a preference for higher calorie packaged foods and gain a significant amount of weight, it would not have been taken seriously,” the analysts wrote. led by Hale Holden.

“A return to a preference for healthier fresh foods could have implications for all
manufacturers of store centers that have had a “second life” in the past 18 months. “

Before the pandemic, few consumers had a taste for foods and drinks with a high sugar content.

As the effort to shed those pounds of COVID is underway, Barclays says sugar could become an ESG (environmental, social and governance) cause on par with ecological issues like carbon footprint.

“As we start to see changes in areas such as sugar content, we have not seen a strong acceleration in terms of the level of adoption, nor an increased sensitivity to owning names exposed,” said analysts.

“But as ESG sensitivities develop, we believe this will become more and more of a
to concentrate.”

Barclays rates the quality bonds issued by General Mills Inc GIS,
-0.36%,
Conagra Brands Inc. CAG,
-0.61%,
and Mondelez International MDLZ,
-0.12%
in case of underweight.

Analysts note the WW of WW International,
+ 2.03%
High yield covered bonds due 2029 overweight.

New bodies and changing fashion trends will benefit some fashion companies, like Levi Strauss & Co. LEVI who explained how the popularity of looser denim styles will benefit this company after years of skinny jeans.

Analysts expected increased demand as mobility improved and people returned to work, events and vacations. Consumers are also pushing for greater inclusion of sizes, allowing access to a wider range of sizes, for example, at Gap Inc. GPS,
+ 2.97%
Old Navy brand. Torrid Holdings Inc. CURV,
+ 3.15%,
a large retailer, was also among the many IPOs that took place this year.

Buyers want to update their closets, or have to do so due to a change in clothing sizing, although the supply chain may put a damper on this push to spend.

Also: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and other major retailers are chartering ships to bypass supply chain issues. Will Strategy Save Christmas?

See: Pandemic wardrobe purge sweeps across country as normal life resumes

“While it is difficult to predict what will change the course of demand for clothing, we believe the 2021 holiday selling period could represent a significant increase in demand trends,” the report said.

And with so many people getting rid of clothes they can’t wear, or don’t want to wear anymore, second-hand companies like ThredUp Inc. TDUP,
-3.14%
should see benefits.

Barclays is overweighted on JWN from Nordstrom Inc.,
+ 3.24%
high yield bonds maturing in 2024, 2027, 2028, 2030 and 2031, an overweighting in M ​​from Macy’s Inc.,
+ 1.51%
high yield bonds maturing in 2029 and overweight ratings on Gap high yield bonds maturing in 2029 and 2031

The SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF JNK,
+ 0.20%
slipped 0.2% for the year to date. The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond HYG ETF,
+ 0.21%
is down 0.3%. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund XLY,
+ 1.73%
gained 12.4%. And the benchmark S&P 500 SPX,
+1.32%
is up 16.2% over the period.

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