Culture

Here's how COVID-19 affected consumer shopping habits

From spirit purchases, bakery items, beauty products to snacks, fresh produce, candy, and more, the coronavirus pandemic altered what we put in our carts.

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Cash-back app, Ibotta, recently released its findings about consumer trends and habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. By comparing purchase data from 2019 with the purchase data from 2020, the finance company caught a glimpse into what people were buying more (much more) of during the pandemic. Priorities clearly switched up, with alcohol and bakery foods topping the list.

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33%

How much spirit purchases went up in 2020 compared to 2019.

Ibotta

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Purchases for bakery items went up by 17 percent. As the pandemic raged on, people turned to baking all sorts of bread, including sour dough. We wrote how you don't need to complicate the process by buying smart gadgets. Dough, water, and a good sense of timing works well.

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Purchases for meat, poultry, and seafood went up by 16 percent while it shot up 15 percent for seasonings, sauces, and the like.

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15%

How much purchases for deli products went up by. People loved the idea of treating themselves to a fancy charcuterie.

Ibotta

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13%

Increase in purchases for canned goods and soups.

Ibotta

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People bought more frozen foods, up by 12 percent compared to 2019, while purchases for dairy products went up by nine percent. This can be explained by the fact that multiple trips to grocery stores were discouraged, so consumers turned to stocking up on goods.

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Beyond edible items, consumers turned to other market categories for shopping, including health and wellness products, beauty items, and household essentials.

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14%

Purchase for grooming products shot up by 14 percent with salons closed.

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Now for the small but essential stuff. Purchases for household essentials like cleaning material went up by seven percent, fresh produce by six, and candy (sweet!) by four.

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37%

Purchases for apparel went down by a "drastic" 37 percent in the U.S.With increased social distancing, there seems to be little to no sense in buying new clothes. Unsurprisingly, reports indicate that interest in leisurewear exploded.

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As the pandemic rages on, these consumer habits are bound to evolve. We're curious to see what other items pick up (or slow down) in the not-too-distant future.

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