ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by TermsFeed Generator How Coronavirus is changing our shopping habits | Giant Peach

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting every area of our lives; where we are, what we do with our time, what we consider important and how we spend our money. 

This, of course, has knock-on effects on every single business, whatever the sector.

To help you keep on top of what’s going on in Retail and FMCG, we’ve rounded up some stats – hope you find them useful. 

1.UK shoppers spend an addition half a billion pounds on groceries

Data from Nielsen has revealed that sales at UK supermarkets from 7th-14th March were up more than 22% compared to the same week in 2019. This is equal to an extra £467,000,000 worth of purchases.

Stockpiling is of course the main driver here, and the stats back it up. Household and pet care items saw the biggest rises – up 65% (that’s where all the loo roll went). And non-perishable items including baked beans, flour and pasta saw their sales go up by 62%.

Frozen food sales were up 33%, beer, wine and spirits by 11%.

Children’s medicine saw the biggest week-on-week increase for a single product – 228%. 


2. UK retail industry could lose £12.6bn in 2020

The increase in supermarket shopping, as we are forced to (hashtag) stayhome and not rely on eating out looks set to cause a 7.1% growth in 2020 – £6.8bn up on the annual spend that was previously forecasted. 

But despite supermarkets doing record trade, UK retail sales as a whole are set to plunge. 

According to a new (24th March) forecast by GlobalData, the overall UK retail industry will see a loss of £12.6bn this year, with clothing and footwear brands set to be the biggest losers, with a sales decline of 20.6% to £11.1bn.

3. 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers say they’re using ecommerce ‘more frequently’

In an Ipsos MORI study which took place from 12th-14th March, only 18% of respondents said that they were using online stores more frequently – with nearly half saying that there had been ‘no change’ in their ecommerce habits. 

However, 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers say they’re shopping online ‘more frequently’ to purchase products they’d usually buy in-store. As these countries are arguably further into their direct experience of the pandemic, the trend could yet be replicated in the UK. With everyone spending more time online, we could naturally see an increase of online sales. 


4. Grocery apps in the US experience record numbers of downloads 

As the virus starts having an impact in the US, more and more consumers are turning to online delivery of their food. 

Sunday 15th March saw a record number, with local shop delivery service Instacart experiencing a 218% increase when compared to download activity in February. Overall sales via Instacart increased tenfold in the first week of March.

Walmart’s standalone food delivery app, Walmart Grocery, saw a 160% growth in app downloads over the same period.


There’s no doubt we will see changes in the way consumers buy products during the pandemic, and the stats are already showing changes in behaviour. But whether or not this will be a permanent change is still unclear. Online shopping is without a doubt convenient and easy, but will people have a better appreciation for face to face interactions in the wake of COVID-19?

At Peach HQ we want to help in any way we can, so if you need support or just advice about your brand’s online presence – get in touch, we’re in it together!

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