Although many shoppers have been driven online to fulfill their essential grocery needs due to the coronavirus, others are still heading to the grocery store. New data [press release] from Catalina shows that US shoppers have been spending more at the grocery store than they did a year ago, while making fewer trips.
In August, shoppers spent an average of $49.28 per trip to the grocery store. This is up 19% from the same time in 2019, when shoppers spent an average of $41.38 per trip. However, while consumers are spending more during their shopping trips, they are not going as often. During August 2019, shoppers made about 7.5 trips to the grocery store per month. A year later they only made 6.7 trips.
Even with a decrease in trips to the grocery store, the rise in the amount of grocery dollars spent per trip pushed average grocery spending for the month of August to $330, up 6% year-over-year (y-o-y) from $310.
This trend in grocery shopping is a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when it comes to increased spending. Earlier data from NCSolutions shows that grocery spend growth in the US hit a peak in March and, although it tapered off after stay-at-home edicts were removed in many areas in May, growth remained higher than it was pre-COVID-19.
In the month of August, home health testing kits (including face masks) spend was up 367% y-o-y, making it the fastest climbing sales category for the month, followed by liquid hand soaps (up 224%), disinfectant cleaners (up 212%), bacon (light/turkey/chicken; up 121%) and yeast (up 103%).
The top categories overall in the six months between March and August 2020 are somewhat similar:
- Liquid hand soaps (up 268% y-o-y);
- Home health testing kits (includes face masks; up 259%);
- Disinfectant cleaners (up 212%);
- Frozen meal starters (up 189%); and
- Meat substitutes (shelf-stable and refrigerated; up 126%).
About the Data: Figures are based on data from Catalina’s Buyer Intelligence Database, which captures more than 2 billion Universal Product Codes that are scanned daily.