Shopping patterns changing as vaccines roll out

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Per Catalina’s CPG shopper insights, people are cooking at home less, flirting more. Download the full infographic here:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Consumers are embracing a return to normal now that more people are vaccinated and mask guidelines have been relaxed, grocery/CPG shopping data from Catalina suggests.

Beginning in late March 2020 when sheltering at home requirements were implemented, people began making fewer shopping trips to their local grocery stores while buying more each visit, Catalina data shows. That trend of fewer trips yet higher dollar sales and basket sizes — which was true of online as well as in-person shopping trips — has continued into this spring, particularly when compared to the same period in 2019, which was long before the pandemic hit.

But further examination of shopping data pulled from Catalina’s Buyer Intelligence Database, which captures same-store dollar sales for the four weeks ending May 22, 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, shows recent major buying shifts across categories as more consumers opt for face-to-face interactions instead of the virtual classrooms, Zoom dating, and home workouts of the past year.

Increasingly people are beginning to gather again in backyards and parks (Dixie Cups and Chinet plastic cutlery are up 36% and 39% respectively), dine out in restaurants (leading to a decline in fresh meat and poultry sales), and head back to the office and the gym (joint relief products and sports drinks have also ticked upward, with brands like Osteo Bi-Flex up 4% and Smartwater up 64%).

In the process, people are showing a renewed interest in their personal appearance: Maybelline lipstick has surged by 66%, Native deodorant by 88% and Downy clothing wrinkle reducers by 48%. The same holds true for flirting and sex: Tic Tac breath fresheners are up 51%, while Durex condom sales have increased 32%.

Consumers also appear to be balancing their desire for dining out with convenient meals at home, with refrigerated meal starters like Giovanni Rana up 105%. While restaurant sales have grown for eight consecutive weeks through the week ending May 9, 2021 according to Black Box Intelligence, same-store sales have started to soften in several food categories. This includes double-digit dips for fresh meat (down 18%), fresh poultry (down 21%); dried pasta (down 20%), bulk dried rice (down 23%), canned beans (down 21%) and cooking oil (down 23%).

“There’s no doubt the pandemic continues to have a dramatic impact on shopping behavior,” said Catalina CMO Marta Cyhan. “Being able to provide retailers, CPG marketers and agencies with insights into what people are now buying — and why — helps us collectively develop and deliver highly personalized marketing messages across multiple channels that measurably impact sales in real time.”

Catalina says its team of data scientists and analytics professionals are able to generate such insights with the help of the company’s Buyer Intelligence Database, which captures up to three years of purchase history and more than two billion universal product codes.





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