While the COVID-19 outbreak saw an initial surge in purchasing across several key grocery categories, consumer purchasing is starting to stabilise in line with prior-year trends, according to a new study by IRI.
The latest edition of the IRI Consumer Spending Tracker analyses consumer behaviour in the period from 9 February to 29 March in in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the US.
It found that across geographies, consumer demand is beginning to stabilise, although some categories are seeing demand 'significantly higher or lower' than the previous year.
Stabilisation Under Way
In Italy, the first country to be impacted by the coronavirus, non-food categories are starting to slow, while the Frozen Foods category continues to drive growth in food.
In France, meanwhile, OTC Healthcare, Personal Care and Cosmetics have shown signs of declining after significant stockpiling, while food categories are flattening, while in Germany, stabilisation has been seen across both food and non-food.
The UK, too, has seen both non-food and food start to flatten and revert to prior-year trends.
E-commerce channels are showing very strong growth in France, Italy and the US since last year, with France and Italy seeing a 'consistent, increasing' shift to e-commerce since the beginning of the crisis, IRI said.
Elsewhere, in the US, the second group of states to issue 'stay at home' orders saw a spike in food sales slightly later than the first group, but non-food has shown a fairly similar timeline.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.