Grocery sales jump by 23% as stockpiling continues during Covid-19

Michaela O'Dea

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Michaela O'Dea

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Grocery sales in Ireland increased by 23% as stockpiling continues during Covid-19

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Grocery sales in Ireland increased by 23% during Covid-19 crisis as panic buying and stockpiling continues. 

Sales increased by 16% when compared to the previous week, according to the latest data from the week ending March 15 2020, released today by Nielsen. 

This increase is attributed to increased stockpiling amidst the outbreak of Covid-19, as Irish shoppers shift their grocery shopping habits from ‘pantry preparation’ to ‘preparing for quarantined living’.

At €363m, the spend is only €3m below last year’s key Christmas trading week ending December 22 2019, and equates to an average spend of €214 in this week per household versus an average weekly spend of €176 in 2019. 

Data also shows that sales particularly skyrocketed in the health and beauty category, growing by 98% to €15m when compared to the same week last year.

Consumers are prepping their home environments for a long time indoors, with the household category growing by 81% to €18.6m. Meanwhile, ambient groceries - shelf-stable food - grew by over three quarters to €37.2m/76%.

Hand sanitiser continues to fly off the shelves, with an enormous 2412% growth when compared with the same week last year, and 67% growth from the previous week - with a total spend of €188k on hand sanitiser alone - this is despite shortages across Ireland.

Panic buying also continues to impact toilet roll purchases, with sales growing by 181% to reach €5.4m. Other products in the category seeing a lift in sales versus last year include soap by 552%, disinfectant liquids by 348%, rubber gloves by 306% and vitamins and minerals, sales of which are up by 224%. 

Pantry staples such as pasta, pasta sauces, breakfast cereals, rice, canned vegetables, ambient soup and baked beans.

Grocers are also beginning to see a rise in frozen food sales such as frozen pizzas, prepared fish, and prepared poultry.

Karen Mooney, Ireland market leader at Nielsen, said that “online demand for grocery is also skyrocketing, outsized even to the overall market growth. It’s clear that in order to satisfy this demand retailers will need to have an effective online strategy in place, as waiting times for delivery slots can reach up to two weeks in some places.”