We can all agree the year 2020 had some unpredictable moments – and trips to the grocery store were no exception. 

In April of last year, we reached out to our members for a glimpse into how their shopping behaviors were changing. Now that it’s been almost a year since life as we knew it was turned around, we surveyed our registered consumers for a better understanding of whether shopping behaviors shifted back into pre-pandemic days.  

After being faced with scarcity at the grocery store early last year, many consumers started purchasing items in bulk.

When our shoppers were recently asked if they still find themselves buying in mass quantities more than pre-pandemic days, to avoid multiple trips to the grocery store and to load up the pantry, 58% are doing this now – an increase from 53% just 11 months ago!

The increase in bulk purchases is also a trend we’ve been seeing in our recent verified purchase data – notably, we saw a 220% increase in our members purchasing Sam’s Club memberships from 2019 to 2020 (inclusive of two months of online promotions to our consumers), and it’s safe to say this will continue to be a trend in the future.

As consumers’ path to purchase at the start of the pandemic needed to evolve, due to the empty shelves that normally housed paper products and canned goods, 41% of our consumers were seeking out items they expected would be limited in availability. Since our original research, that number has declined to 27%, likely because supply is keeping pace with demand. 

The sudden impact of COVID-19 forced consumers to change the way they navigate the grocery store. In the early days of the pandemic, 49% of our shoppers acknowledged they were consciously shopping differently. Today, a higher 54% admit they are navigating aisles differently because of the pandemic.  

If you’re trying to get a new product introduced into shopper’s baskets, send us a note at b2bmarketing@prodege.com

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Katie Crockford

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