News | Published March 31 2020

Supermarket sales break records amid coronavirus pandemic

Consumer analysts, Kantar, have revealed that sales of groceries in March have exceeded all previous records, with shoppers stockpiling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

March 16 to 19 was the busiest spell across the month, when over 85 per cent of households visited a supermarket, amounting to 42 million trips over the four-day period.

Over the past month, year-on-year supermarket sales grew by over a fifth.

Fraser McKevitt of Kantar said that the £10.8 billion worth of sales in March were "even higher than levels seen at Christmas".

He continued: "It's inevitable that shoppers will add extra items to their baskets when faced with restrictions on their movement.

"With restaurants and cafes now closed, none of us can eat meals on the go any longer and an extra 503 million meals, mainly lunches and snacks, will be prepared and eaten at home every week for the foreseeable future."

According to the analyst, people have made additional shopping trips which has resulted in the quantity of sales, as opposed to individuals spending more on individual trips.

On average, households have spent £62.92 extra in the past four weeks, which is around five days’ worth of shopping.

The greatest increase in spending across the country was seen in London, with an increase of 26 per cent on grocery spending during the month.

Sales in frozen food increased by 84 per cent in the last week, compared with the same period the year prior.

According to Mike Watkins of Nielsen’s there had been a "seismic shift in overall shopping patterns".

He added: "Unlike stores, there is a finite capacity for online grocery shopping, due to warehouse capacity and available delivery slots, and this will have limited the growth of online sales."

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 31 2020

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