Customers Changing Course Due to Coronavirus

Customers Changing Course Due to Coronavirus
Datassential research showed that 89% of consumers feel safer eating at home food from grocery stores than eating in restaurants

As concerns over the coronavirus worsen and numerous events are canceled and postponed, customers' eating habits and purchasing decisions are changing. 

Chicago-based research company Dataessential has decided to poll 1,000 U.S. consumers each week to see how their sentiments are changing in the midst of the outbreak.

Research fielded March 10 showed that 89% of consumers feel safer eating food from grocery stores (at home) than restaurants (or away from home). Nearly 60% of consumers are concerned about eating out, with one in five “definitely” avoiding doing so. 

The research also showed how concerned people are that different locations will increase their chances of contracting COVID-19. Grocery stores came in No. 11 on the list — with 29% concerned — behind other food establishments such as cruise ships, buffet restaurants, bars and food courts. 

For those making trips to the store or ordering online, Chicago-based Nielsen has identified a number of products with skyrocketing sales. 

For the one-week period ending March 7, compared with the same time period last year, the research company found huge increases in health and safety products and certain food and beverage products.

Some highlights include:

  • Hand sanitizer sales were up 470%.
  • Aerosol disinfectants were up 385.3%. 
  • Rubbing alcohol was up 253.8%
  • Bath and shower wipes were up 180%.
  • Thermometers were up 172.3%.
  • Shelf-stable oat milk was up 347.3%.
  • Powdered milk products were up 126.3%.
  • Fresh meat alternatives were up 206.4%.
  • Dried beans were up 62.9%.
  • Rice was up 57.5%.

For the same time period, fresh apples, papayas and celery sales all decreased. 

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