Data: Grocery Shopping Trips Down, Basket Sizes Up

Charlie Menchaca
Managing Editor
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For the 5th consecutive week, Catalina is continuing to track how the pandemic is impacting retailers and CPG brands to offer them counsel on both the marketing and supply chain front.

  • Shoppers are indeed making fewer trips to grocery, drug and convenience stores nationwide - while spending more per visit - compared to the prior week and to the same period in 2019.
  • Specifically, visits were up 14% compared to the same period in 2019, but declined slightly from the week ending March 14 (which had seen a 17% increase in visits over the prior year).
  • Total sales dollars per store continued to be very high, up an average of 62% versus the same period a year ago. 

"These numbers coincide with more states and metropolitan areas issuing 'shelter in place' or 'stay at home' directives that currently impact more than 100 million people across the country," Catalina CMO Marta Cyhan said. "We're continuing to mine our Buyer Intelligence to monitor sales in hundreds of categories since even before the pandemic was officially declared to advise our retail and CPG customers on changes in consumer behavior that can directly impact their marketing and supply chain decisions."

As for the top-selling categories last week on a percentage basis - yeast (yes, yeast) rose above the rest with sales surging 601% vs. YA, per the infographic above. The category had only seen a miniscule .1% sales increase in the first six weeks of 2020, prior to Coronavirus/COVID-19 awareness really starting to take root.

Even though "sheltering in place" guidelines typically allow people to continue to shop at grocery and drug stores, the top 10 categories that have seen the greatest increase in sales show that people continue to stock their pantries with food and cleaning supplies.

For the first time yeast products top this chart, likely due to people having the time and finding comfort in baking.


    ·       Yeast, Dry & Refrigerated, up 601%           

    ·       Cleaners & Disinfectants, up 377%

    ·       Soup, Canned, Ready-to-Serve, up 369%      

    ·       Milk, Powdered, up 368%

    ·       Soup, Dry Hearty, up 363%

    TOP 6-10 GROCERY CATEGORY SALES - PERCENTAGE BASIS (week ending 3/22/2020)

    ·       Meat Substitutes, up 316%

    ·       Dried Beans/Grains, up 297%

    ·       Packaged Dry Dinner Mix, up 277%

    ·       Mixes, Stuffing, up 273%

    ·       Soup, Condensed, up 272%

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