Shoppers in Ireland bought groceries worth approximately €316 million in the week ended 8 March 2020, new data from Nielsen has revealed.
The figure represents a 2.4% increase in grocery spend compared to the preceding week and a 7.6% growth against the same week in 2019.
The sales of baby milk was up 29% during the week, while baby food sales jumped 22% and disposable nappies increased by 5.4%, during the period.
During this period, the sales of fruit and vegetables, bakery, frozen, chilled, and confectionery items, as well as alcohol, slowed due to the over-performance in other categories.
Unsurprisingly Hand sanitiser sales in the country grew by more than 1000% year-on-year in the week ended 8 March, generating around €11,300.
Meanwhile, customers bought soap worth €81,800 in the same week, a 231% increase compared to last year.
The spike in the sales of grocery items is a result of panic buying amid fear of coronavirus pandemic, the study noted.
“Panic buying appears to be at its height, with many retailers now implementing buying restrictions on products that are high in demand," said Karen Mooney, Ireland market leader at Nielsen.
“However, given that many of the products that are seeing significant growth at the moment are non-perishable and non-expandable consumption, we expect to see a drop off in sales in the coming weeks as people stop panic buying and begin to use the stock that they have already purchased.”
In the four weeks ended 8 March, household and health and beauty were the biggest gainers, increasing sales by 17% and 15% respectively, data showed.
Other categories that showed a significant sales increase in this period in Ireland include pet care (+17%) and ambient grocery(+10%).
The study also revealed that disinfectant liquids (+93%), antiseptic (+100%) and household and personal cleaning items such as washing up liquid (+14%) and household bleach (+14%) emerged as the top-selling hygiene products in Ireland.
The demand for cupboard staples in Irish supermarkets increased significantly in the four-week period, with the sales of pasta and canned vegetables up by 26% and 25% respectively.
People also bought rice, canned beans, and soups in tins and packets.
The sales of toilet tissue increased by 19.1% year-on-year in the four weeks to 8 March, while the sales of baby care products also grew remarkably.
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.