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NCSolutions Indispensable Food Grocery Items for Consumers Apr2021The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop, how they spend their time, and the attention they pay to their own health and fitness. It’s also taught US consumers to keep a well-stocked pantry, with CPG spending increasing 19% year-over-year in 2020. Here are some of the essential food and household items Americans say they must always have a supply of in their home, per a survey by NCSolutions.

Cleaning supplies (81%) tops the list of items US households must keep on hand, followed by toilet paper and other paper goods (80%) and pantry items such as rice, pasta, beans and soup (72%). Other essentials include healthcare products (including painkillers, thermometers and medicines, 63%), proteins (63%), fresh fruit and vegetables (63%), snack foods (58%), convenience/frozen foods (57%) and baking ingredients (55%).

Data from the first few months of the pandemic shows that while consumers were making fewer trips to the grocery store, they were spending more. It appears that for some, taking that trip to the grocery store was a form of self-care, with two-fifths (42%) of the more than 2,000 shoppers surveyed saying that grocery shopping was a way to get out of the house and feel normal. These trips to the store might also have involved visiting a store they’d never tried before.

Some 42% of respondents also say that they are enjoying more meals and beverages at home. Indeed, close to half (47%) report that they cook more frequently than they did before the pandemic, with certain food categories such as frozen food (+29%), dry grains and beans (+28%), baking ingredients (+27%) and fresh produce (+24%) seeing increased sales between March 2020 and February 2021.

And, while respondents are focusing on their health and wellness by wearing masks (81%), practicing social distancing (74%) and taking vitamins and supplements (55%), they are also looking after themselves emotionally. Some 7 in 10 (69%) have done so by watching TV/movies, while others are spending more time on social media (33%) or ordering takeout or delivery from restaurants (32%).

You can read more here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a Q1 2021 survey of 2,017 US adults (18+) weighted to be representative of the overall US population.

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