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IRI: Product demand peaks but remains higher than last year amid COVID-19

grocery cart

Overall product demand during the week ended April 12 has leveled from the mid-March panic shopping peak that accompanied the COVID-19 outbreak, but remains up 13% compared to the prior-year period.

That’s according to IRI’s newly launched IRI CPG Demand Index, which tracks consumer product goods demand in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The metric measures weekly changes in consumer purchases, by dollar sales, against the year-ago period across departments, categories and retail formats.

Insights revealed by the CPG Demand Index in recent weeks are below.

  • Alcohol demand in measured channels continues at elevated levels, up 27% for the week ended April 12 compared to the prior-year period, as consumers are unable to go to bars and restaurants.
  • Total store non-edibles are down slightly from the prior-year period as consumers work to use stockpiles they accumulated in mid-March.
  • The grocery channel remains the destination winner for food, up 33%, and non-edibles, up 16%, although the latter is down slightly from week-ago demand.
  • Frozen food continues to show the highest demand levels and is up 31% compared to the prior-year period.
  • Total trips are down 4% and have slowed dramatically from their peak in mid-March. Even with consumption up, edible trips remain on par compared to a year ago; non-edible trips are down 3% as consumers work through their stockpile of goods.
  • Against fewer trips are larger baskets when consumers do shop. The size of total store baskets is up 22%, with edible basket items up 27% even after the panic shopping of mid-March.

IRI’s latest research report, “The Changing Shape of the CPG Demand Curve,” was published on April 24, 2020. New research conducted by IRI and in collaboration with our partners, including Boston Consulting Group (BCG), is also published on a regular basis and available immediately for download on the IRI COVID-19 Info Portal.

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