50 Ways the Recession Is Changing Our Lives

Last week, the British economy received some good news: sales of shower gel, margarine, chicken stock, all-in-one cleaning products and custard are up significantly. Not quite the green shoots of recovery that Alistair Darling is praying for, but signs of economic activity none the less.

While most experts agree that we are far from the end of the recession – far, even, from the beginning of the end – what we are seeing is a turnaround in the way we spend.

Trend analysts believe that the new shopping patterns forming under the recession are going to last far beyond it. So here, we have identified 50 different changes to consumer habits.


  1. Showers are replacing hot baths. In a wide-ranging survey, Unilever, the consumer goods manufacturer whose products are in 99.4 per cent of British homes, revealed last week that shoppers are now buying more shower gel than bubble baths. Rather than fill up the tub, we’re taking brisker — and thriftier — showers.

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March 17, 2009

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