Saturday, October 17, 2020

Grocery stores prepare for a 2nd wave of pandemic panic shopping

Some grocers say they're starting to experience round two of panic shopping.

According to new data from LendingTree, American consumers’ average weekly grocery spending has increased by 17% since pre-pandemic times, up from $163 to $190.Amy Sussman / Getty Images

By Nicole Spector

When the coronavirus pandemic first struck, grocery retailers across the nation were scrambling to restock shelves as consumers panic-shopped for canned goods, flour, yeast and most curiously, toilet paper. Now, with a second wave of COVID-19 looming and fear over potential unrest around the presidential election, consumers are aggressively stocking up on various foods. And grocers are struggling to keep up with the demand.

“As of now what we are seeing is the start of the second wave of panic,” said Chris Mentzer, the director of operations for Rastelli Market Fresh in New Jersey. “Our customers keep telling me how they are looking for any type of freezer to purchase so they can start stocking up their homes now. Their main concern is meat." He explained that customers are mainly looking to buy and freeze beef and poultry — ground beef, steaks, roasts and all varieties of chicken.

"They're also starting to buy a lot of frozen meals and frozen pizzas," said Mentzer. "We are seeing anything that can be microwaved quickly or easily made in the oven for kids, fly off the shelves, as people are preparing for schools and colleges to be closed this winter — along with a run on dried goods and paper goods, as well.”  Read more >>