Shoppers spend €316 million on groceries in Ireland during coronavirus panic buying sprees
Shoppers spent €316m on groceries in Ireland after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Karen Mooney, Ireland Market Leader at Nielsen, said that announcements by WHO and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "led to panic buying and stockpiling across the country. Retailers in Ireland are seeing an unprecedented rise in sales of grocery items, as consumers look to stock up on products amid the country’s lockdown."
There has been an increase of 2.4% grocery spend during the week of March 8, 2020 compared to the previous week, and 7.6% versus the same week in 2019.
Health & Beauty and Household products see the biggest increase in sales, growing 35% and 31% respectively compared to 2019
This significant rise in grocery sales is attributed to increasing panic buying, amid health fears around the worldwide spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, which has already led to the closure of schools, colleges, pubs and a host of cancelled or postponed events, including St Patrick’s Day festivities across the country.
Nielsen data shows that in the last four weeks ending 8th March, household and health and beauty saw the biggest increase in sales, compared to the same period last year. These categories have risen by 31% and 35% respectively over the last one week period ending March 8.
In the latest four weeks, Irish supermarkets saw a significant increase in cupboard staples, including pasta by 26%, canned vegetables by 25%, rice by 9%, packet & tinned soup by 22% and canned beans by 17%. Sales of toilet tissue have also risen by 19.1% compared to the same period in 2019.
As expected, many health and hygiene products have continued to experience a surge in sales. This includes hand sanitiser sales, which grew by over 1000% reaching a peak of €113k.
Meanwhile, sales of soap reached €818k, a 231% increase compared to last year. In the last four weeks, top selling hygiene products include disinfectant liquids by 93%, antiseptic by 100% and household and personal cleaning items such as washing up liquid by 14% and household bleach by 14%.