Catalina Maps Shopper Decisions by State During Crisis

Charlie Menchaca
Managing Editor
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Catalina Covid-19 Retail Impact Map
Catalina Marketing is mapping shopping decisions by state during the Covid-19 crisis.

To demonstrate the profound impact the Covid-19 pandemic has on shopping decisions and buyer behavior across the U.S., Catalina Marketing launched an interactive map on its website. 

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

The two states with the highest overall year-over-year dollars per store change are New Mexico at 140% (with a whopping 172% change in dollars per trip) and Idaho at 46% (with a 48% dollars per trip change.)

“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," Catalina CMO Marta Cyhan said. "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.” 

For the week ending March 28, 2020 – 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% versus the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of shopping trips declined by 13% compared to the same period in 2019, even as the amount spent per visit increased by 31% over the prior year.

Top Sellers Nationwide: Flour, Baking Mixes and Household Cleaning Products

With an estimated three out of four Americans now sheltering in place, the top 3 categories with the greatest increase in sales on a percentage basis show that consumers' interest in baking continues to surge, with flour sales up 154% and baking mix sales up 99% over the same period a year ago. 

Meanwhile, people’s efforts to keep their homes free of the virus led to a 102% increase in sales of household cleaning products last week versus the prior year. Among the categories experiencing the greatest declines nationally compared to a year ago were: 

  • Greeting cards (down 54%)
  • Chewing gum (down 41%) 
  • Beauty aids (down 36%) 

The top 10 grocery items that have seen the greatest increase in sales show that people continue to stock their pantries with food and cleaning supplies.

    Top 5 Grocery Product Sales by % (week ending 3/28/2020)

    1) Flour, up 142%

    2) Baking Mixes, up 104%

    3) Household Cleaning Compounds, up 92%

    4) Dried Vegetables, up 90%

    5) Refrigerated Cookies and Rolls, up 86%

    Top 6-10 Grocery Product Sales by % (week ending 3/28/2020)

    6) Canned Vegetables, up 82%

    7) Sugar, up 75%

    8) Baking Needs, up 74%

    9) Syrups and Molasses, up 72%

    10) Shortenings and Oils, up 70%

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