Consumers Shopping Less but Buying More at a Time, Sales of Baking Goods Up During Pandemic  April 3, 2020

Consumers Shopping Less but Buying More at a Time, Sales of Baking Goods Up During Pandemic 

Catalina Marketing has launched an interactive map on its website to demonstrate the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on shopping decisions and buyer behavior across the US.

The map reports sales data across 78 major grocery and drug categories from states across the US, plus the District of Columbia, going back to the week ending Feb. 15 when coronavirus awareness and concerns really started to gain traction: 

“During this extraordinarily stressful time, we are pleased to share data from our Buyer Intelligence Database to demonstrate how buying trends and shoppers’ behavior have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are using this information to advise our retail and CPG customers on how best to manage their marketing and supply chain decisions during the crisis, and to better prepare them for when the country and the world emerge from it,” said Marta Cyhan, Catalina Chief Marketing Officer. 

For the week ending March 28 – and for the second week in a row — shoppers continued making fewer trips to grocery and drug stores nationwide — while spending more per visit — compared to the week ending March 14 and to the same period in 2019, according to Catalina. Total sales dollars per store continued to be up an average of 13 percent versus the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of shopping trips declined by 13 percent compared to the same period in 2019, even as the amount spent per visit increased by 31 percent over the prior year.

With an estimated three out of four Americans now sheltering in place, the top three categories with the greatest increase in sales on a percentage basis show that people’s interest in baking continues to surge, with flour sales up 154 percent and baking mix sales up 99 percent over the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, people’s efforts to keep their homes free of the virus led to a 102 percent increase in sales of household cleaning products last week versus the prior year. Among the categories experiencing the greatest declines nationally were greeting cards (down 54 percent), chewing gum (down 41 percent) and beauty aids (down 36 percent) vs. a year ago.

Subscribe to Grocery Insight