Published 31 March 2020
With many people staying at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, grocery purchases reached £10.8 billion — this figure is higher than the amount of sales seen at Christmas.
March 31, 2020 — Recent figures from data firm Kantar show that grocery store sales in the UK have surged by 20.6% in the four weeks leading up to March 22. This figure shows the biggest amount of grocery sales ever recorded in March. With many people staying at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, there was £10.8 billion in grocery store purchases in those four weeks. Shockingly, this figure is even higher than the amount of sales seen at Christmas.
Other statistics indicate that ahead of the government’s proposed lockdown, people shopped more frequently and bought more during each trip as they attempted to stockpile goods. From Monday, March 16 to Thursday March 19, 88% of households visited a grocery store and made five trips on average. This created 42 million extra shopping trips during that period.
With many restaurants, bars and fast food chains being closed to the public, people are eating at home more which also accounts for the large increase in grocery store sales. Kantar’s data indicates that an “extra 503 million meals, mainly lunches and snacks, will be prepared and eaten at home every week for the foreseeable future.” This is a significant amount of meals that need to be prepared at home and indicates part of the reason why grocery stores and supermarkets are essential during this time.
The data firm does state that as restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic continue to increase, there is indication that grocery shopping could peak in the next few weeks. With people’s pantries stocked and greater restrictions possibly coming in the near future, there could be a leveling off of grocery store sales. The next few weeks will provide a new set of data for the firm to analyze and present for review.