google searches coronavirus toilet paper uk

I noticed a few Google Trends screenshots flashing across the news and Twitter, which made me have a peek at which keyword had the strongest search increase in the UK and France : toilet paper, online yoga, how to make bread ?

Toilet Paper

British people definitely worried more about toilet paper than the French. They typed “Toilet Paper” in Google 500,000 times in March !

Toilet paper searches went from 8,100 a month to 500,000 a month. which is an increase of +6,690% % in the UK (vs + 814% in France).

Less toilet paper buying panic in France? Or less of a priority to French people?

Monthly Searches – Google Keyword Planner – UK

In any case, British people must have been pretty desperate as “toilet paper alternative” reached a total of 18k a month, that’s a 5,556% increase from 320 (and vs. +336% for France)

Monthly Searches – Google Keyword Planner – France

Online Yoga

Change in behaviour can be clearly seen on the screenshot below: in red “yoga near me”, in blue “online yoga”. the lines cross mid-March for the UK, with a peak on the 23 March for “online yoga”.

Google Trends UK past 90 days

“Online Yoga” (“Yoga en Ligne”) gets the highest increase in France over all other keywords selected : +4,497% vs +1,292% in the UK. 

A variety of other keywords from “beginners yoga”, to “free online yoga” (+6k%) show big increases in searches in France too, meaning thousands more people practice at home now than before. There will be a real post-coronavirus challenge for yoga teachers, yoga centres and yoga products retailer to retain the current number of users.

Google Trends – ” Yoga en Ligne” – March 2020

Strongest increases in interest are around the Mediterranean Sea : Corsica, Languedoc Roussillon, Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.

In Britain and in France, yoga centres now offer online yoga classes on Zoom to replace IRL classes, for half the price. How will they manage to bring people back in classes post isolation? Will people stay online instead of having to commute and pay more?

Update 28 May 2021 : I ended up creating a startup for this growing online yoga segment. Its’ a platform that connects yoga teachers to their students for Zoom classes : Live Yoga Teachers. We ran a survey for the launch and 46 % of students would like to practice online yoga after the pandemic, they were only 9 % a year ago.

How to make Bread

There is a bigger increase in France than in the UK for “how to make bread” : 1275% vs 1038%, but French people started from lower than Britain in making their own bread (3600 searches in January vs 8100 in the UK).

Britain has now 200K searches a month for “how to make bread”, vs only 60k in France – so the UK stays ahead ! Why would you make your own bread in France when you can find a Boulangerie on every street corner ? Specially when they are staying open during the coronavirus pandemic, seen as “essential” by the French government.

How to cut your own Hair

Same need in the UK as in France : around+ 500% for both countries. I would have expected more searches in France, where you can also find hairdressers at every street corner !

In fact there are 83K Hair and Beauty businesses in France, vs 41K in the UK. So it seems that many French people just decided to let their hair grow, and turn grey as increases are also pretty low for “how to dye your own hair”…

How to apply for Unemployment

There is a much bigger increase in Britain than in France (878% vs 190%) for “how to apply for unemployment”. Either French people already knew how to apply for unemployment, or maybe they were already unemployed ?

When we look at specific terms like “Furlough” in the UK ( +62,122%) and “Chômage Technique” in France (+4,445%) – we can see that the UK is leading with up to 2M searches for “furlough”, which is a bit of an obscure word for non natives.

How to buy Stocks

“How to buy stocks” saw a bigger increase in France than in the UK, to 18K searches a month, vs 9K in the UK. Both countries had the same search volumes in February (2900). This means twice as many French people tried to find out how to buy stocks in March. But I am sure they have some catch up to do vs. British people…

Let me know in the comments if you think other keywords deserve to be on this list ?

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