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A Look At Consumer Shopping Priorities During Coronavirus Pandemic

Jayson Derrick

Consumers are no longer stocking up pantry staples and are instead shopping for sweets, frozen pizzas and salty snacks, according to data from Acosta.

First-Time Online Shoppers

Older households and families living in the hardest-hit regions are showing signs of escalating concerns amid the coronavirus outbreak, Acosta found. The research firm's first shopper survey in early March showed an average concern level of 6.9, but it has now risen to 8.2 in a survey conducted between April 3-7.

Online grocery ordering activity rose in the new survey, as 51% of shoppers placed at least one order over the prior four-week period, Acosta reported.

Among those who placed an order, 33% of consumers made their first-ever online grocery order.

Data Consistent With Food Giants

Acosta's data is consistent with Nestle's earnings report. The global food company showed stronger organic sales growth during the first quarter, aided in part by a jump in frozen pizzas, frozen meals and Hot Pockets, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said its goal is to "provide comfort" food and snacks to consumers.

Similarly, Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ: KHC) CEO Miguel Patricio said in early April that all of its brands were benefiting from high demand, including classic comfort foods like Mac & Cheese, Oscar Mayer bacon and hot dogs, according to WSJ.

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