U.S. grocers should focus on this food item

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

U.S. grocers should focus on this food item

By Dan Berthiaume - 04/14/2020
grocery cart

Analysis from demand forecasting platform Crisp suggests breakfast food purchases have stabilized, but another category is due to surge.

Crisp is modeling the grocery buying behavior of consumers in Europe to give U.S. grocers insight into how domestic consumer buying habits will change in the short term. The model uses real time data from Europe, allowing U.S. grocers to apply a two-to-four-week delay in the behavior of their customers. By using the European data as the basis, U.S. grocers can restock critical categories as they mirror European consumer buying trends.

One major trend uncovered by Crisp analysis is a recurring surge in demand for hot dogs. Hot dogs surged on March 12, 2020 (which Crisp identifies as the first “surge day” for COVID-19-related consumer purchases in Europe) and again on April 7. According to Crisp, these multiple surges indicates that hot dogs are in demand when they are available. 

Crisp anticipates that hot dogs will remain at higher-than-normal buying patterns as inventory is available, and advises U.S. grocers to consider increasing inventory levels of these easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly items.

Other notable findings include:

  • Breakfast foods have not yet returned to normal buying patterns since surge day (March 12, 2020) when they experienced a 235% increase in purchases. They were still showing a 11% decrease in demand two weeks later, which Crisp says indicates consumers are still sustained from what they bought on surge day. According to Crisp, U.S. grocers can expect slower buying patterns in stores and may be able to restock slower for breakfast foods than for critical items.
  • Eggs were another item that people hoarded on surge day, seeing a 230% increase, but quickly returned to typical buying patterns two weeks later.
  • Ahead of the Easter holiday (April 12), Chocolate remained a high-demand item, with a surge of 107% on the surge day, but remained higher than prior to the surge with an increase of 8 and 11% two weeks after.