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Study: Shoppers making less trips to grocery stores but spending more

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on grocery shopping behavior has been “profound.”

That’s according to shopper intelligence company Catalina, which said that shoppers continue to spend more money at the grocery store each month, while taking fewer trips.  

In August, spending per trip increased by 6%, with an overall increase from $310 to $330 per month. (The difference was even more dramatic in March through May, before starting to come down in June.). But shopping trips were nearly 11% lower compared to the year-ago period.

In reviewing the past six months of data, Catalina said that shoppers made more trips than average in March as the pandemic set in, then greatly reduced trips in April as they hunkered down at home. This gave way to new routines starting in May that continue through today, with the number of grocery store runs down approximately 10% from May through August.

Other insights from Catalina are below.
•    Shoppers made an average of 6.7 retailer trips per month in Aug. 2020, down from 7.5 retailer trips per month compared to Aug. 2019, a decrease of nearly 11%. 
•    Shoppers spent an average of $49.28 per grocery store visit in Aug. 2020, up from $41.38 in Aug. 2019, an increase of 19% and consistent since June.

The top six categories overall for the six months beginning in March through August 2020 include:
1.    Liquid Hand Soaps – up 268% 
2.    Home health testing kits (category includes face masks) – up 259% 
3.    Disinfectant cleaners – up 212% 
4.    Frozen meal-starters – up 189% 
5.    Meat substitutes – up 126% 
6.    Yeast  – 117%

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