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Recent data shows that Americans’ shopping habits have changed in a number of ways as various US states continue to endure government-ordered lockdowns and social distancing even as they begin to slowly reopen.
Citing consumer research from data analytics and market research company IRI, The Hill reported Friday that Americans have been rediscovering their love of cooking and baking at home since the start of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.
Researchers have observed increased demand for common baking goods and cooking staples found in most supermarkets and grocery stores. While frozen pizza sales have gone up, hot-and-ready meals and deli meats prepared in-house by stores have seen a decline in purchases over the past few months.
According to industry analysts that spoke with the outlet, the recent buying habits of Americans come as a reversal of trends that have accelerated over the past four decades.
Out of all the baking products now in high demand, one particular morsel is seeing a dramatic year-over-year rise: the chocolate chip.
“We’re making chocolate chip cookies. I made chocolate chip cookies. They were excellent, by the way,” Neil Stern, a senior partner at consulting firm McMillanDoolittle, told The Hill. “The sales mix looks like it did back in 1980,” when more people cooked at home, he added. Stern currently consults for clients in the grocery industry.
FMI – The Food Industry Association reported in a Thursday blog post that 37% of US grocery shoppers have been “more successful in avoiding food waste now than compared to before the pandemic.”
This comes as a great step forward for American consumers, because, according to estimates cited by FMI, “25% to 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed.”
Another interesting change in the grocery market has been observed by Dollar General variety stores, the US’ largest dollar-store chain.
Forbes reported Thursday that Dollar General saw a 28% increase in revenue during its latest quarter, after adding more fresh and frozen foods to its stores.
According to the outlet, Dollar General has around 16,000 associated variety stores.
“We are the most relevant we have been in many, many years,” Todd Vasos, chief executive of Dollar General, said during a Thursday call with investors on May 28, as reported by Forbes. He said that former shoppers of Dollar General who haven’t stopped by in recent times would be “delighted to see all the changes we’ve made.”