CHICAGO (CBS) — Baking is hot these days, but buying a prepared cake is not. A Chicago-based research firm just released a new tool to track coronavirus purchases.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory reveals what’s making it inside our cart, and what’s being left on store shelves.
Americans are headed to the grocery store less, but leaving with more than usual. Our baskets are fuller, bellies too.
Krishnakumar “KK” Davey leads the strategic analytics team for market research firm IRI Worldwide. They’re cruising store aisles digitally, so manufacturers can try to keep physically.
“We launched this product called the CPG Demand Index,” he said.
The Consumer Packaged Goods Demand Index shows which store purchases have increased, and which have dropped during the pandemic.
According to IRI Worldwide’s research, purchases of cookie dough are up 285%.
“People are kind of now baking. You know, first was hunkering down and kind of making sure we all got our protein,” Davey said.
It matches what we’re seeing on social media. After March’s stock-piling, April was all about kitchen creations; especially dessert.
Compared to last April, egg purchases are up 45%, baking mix purchases are up 74%, and flour purchases are up 99%.
Americans aren’t the only shoppers with a sweet tooth. In recent weeks, Italy has seen marscapone sales 177% higher than normal, the French are buying 169% more yeast and sugar, and Germany’s eating 149% more ice cream.
The United Kingdom has been focusing less on sugary foods, and more on sweet drinks; up 83%.
Booze is still a big item back on our soil, with a 28% increase in purchases last week compared to the same time in 2019. So are frozen foods, up 45% last week compared to the same week last year.
So what’s not selling?
“If you’re at home, you don’t need to wear all the makeup all the time, even though we have Zoom and Teams (videoconferencing), but the necessity to kind of dress up and go out has been affected,” Davey said.
Shaving products are down 17%, which could explain the popularity of the #quarantinebeard.
The floral department has taken a hit as well, with floral purchases down 49% last week compared to the same week in 2019; but this could be Easter-related.
What does Davey see lasting long-term?
“More people are going to work from home, now that we’ve demonstrated we can successfully do it in a lot of white collar jobs, which will lead to more in home consumption,” he said.
That means more in-home digestion, so the trend in the paper products aisle will probably stay a while.
Another hot item: frozen meat, perhaps because of reports of a possible looming meat shortage. Frozen meat purchases are up 40% last week compared to the same week in 2019.
For some reason, family planning items are down too.