Consumers anticipating futures beyond the pandemic: A qualitative study

Pauli Komonen (Corresponding Author), Anu Seisto

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Consumers have needed to reorganise their daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has become a focal question whether or not the changes will be permanent, short-lived or perhaps contribute to a transition towards new forms of consumption. Alongside changes caused directly by the pandemic, consumers have ideas, plans and hopes concerning their futures. In this article, we investigate consumers’ behaviour change and futures thinking during the pandemic. A three-month qualitative online data collection was carried out to allow consumers to reflect on their current situation and views on the future. Consumers’ future expectations and changes in consumer lifestyles during the pandemic are identified in the analysis. The results are interpreted through the theoretical perspectives of anticipation and imaginaries. In their thinking, consumers move fluently between the past, present and future, and they anticipate simplified, flexible and ecologically conscious lifestyles in the future. We conclude that primary qualitative data consisting of consumers’ futures thinking can be a valuable data source in foresight research supporting traditional expert-driven methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anticipation
  • Consumption
  • COVID-19
  • Finland
  • Futures


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