Households increase their food purchases in supermarkets and traditional stores

In this eighth week after the declaration of the state of alarm to face the health crisis of COVID-19, year-on-year growth is widespread in all foods, with an above-average increase in the consumption of sheep meat (+ 64.5%). This is the third consecutive week with a rise higher than the total feeding measure, although the volume acquired this week is significantly lower than that recorded the previous week (-15%).

Fisheries products also figure prominently in the Spanish shopping basket, with year-on-year increases of 32% in fresh fish, 67% in frozen fish and 33% in canned fish.

The volume of purchase of fruits and vegetables, both fresh and processed, also increases in relation to the year 2019, as well as the previous week.

Likewise, the consumption of rice and pasta grows, although they do not show such high rebound as in the first weeks of confinement. Something similar occurs with pulses, which also registered year-on-year growth, but less volume was purchased than in the previous week.

Meanwhile, the increase in the purchase of flour and semolina has not prevented further bread sales, which grew 21.5% in relation to 2019 and 8.3% over week 18.

Other products of which a greater quantity is acquired this week compared to the same the previous year are eggs (+42.1%) and total olive oils (+36.4%). There is also a higher purchase of beverages in general and products such as snacks, olives, pickles, chocolates or coffees / teas.

The evolution of the past few weeks indicates that significant interannual growths of consumption at home will continue as long as confinement is maintained and it is not possible to consume outside the home. For this reason, certain categories of products – whose majority consumption was previously carried out outside the home – are purchased more than last year to consume at home, although without compensating the consumption that was previously carried out in the Horeca channel.

On the other hand, supermarkets and traditional stores continue with increases this week above the average (+36.7% and 34.8%, respectively). Internet purchases show significant growth, although the volume acquired this week is somewhat lower than the previous one. The hypermarket is the dynamic channel that, although growing, does not achieve as positive an evolution as the rest of the shopping places.

By geographical area, this week the South and North of the peninsula stand out with the highest increases in household purchases. Among the Autonomous Communities with the most significant growth this week are Navarra, Murcia, Extremadura and the Balearic Islands, while Galicia and the Valencian Community have had a more contained evolution.

Food consumption panel methodology (Household consumption)

The panel for household food consumption (purchasing panel), a study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food included in the National Statistical Plan, aims to determine the direct demand for food in Spanish households (household consumption), through the Systematic collection and analysis of information on what Spaniards buy for consumption at home, how much it costs them, and when and where they buy it, investigating the differences in household purchasing habits according to their different geographical location and the various factors that characterize Spanish families. For this the following methodology is applied:

All households in the peninsula, Balearic and Canary Islands, not including Ceuta and Melilla (18,716,109 in 2020 and 18,582,890 in 2019).

When speaking of home, it is understood as such the person or group of people who jointly occupy a family home or part of it, who consume food and other goods under the same budget.

In some categories of food and beverages, it is necessary to take into account the weight that they traditionally have in the hospitality and restaurant channel, which is greater than in the household consumption channel. It should be noted that although there are more pronounced increases in household purchases compared to the same period of the previous year, these increases do not represent a recovery in total consumption (households + out of the home).

Sample: 12,500 households that record their purchases daily with an optical reader. The choice of this sample is random with a two-stage method. In the first, the probing points are selected based on the size of the populations for each of the regions. In the second, collaborators are selected in each of the chosen points. The information collection system is through a barcode reader.

The segmentation criteria of the households on which it is possible to carry out the analysis of purchasing behavior in the weekly monitoring are the geographical areas and autonomous communities.

For each purchase made, the household informs of the establishment in which it has purchased the product, which allows knowing the importance of the different types of establishments in the final distribution. The establishments considered are the following:

  • Hypermarket
  • Supermarket / Self-service
  • Discount store
  • Traditional T.: fishmongers, butchers / delicatessens, dairies, herbalists, frozen stores, markets and squares, bakeries, bars / wineries, pharmacies, greengrocers / fruit shops, food / grocery and grocery stores
  • Other channels: commissaries / cooperatives, door-to-door sales, markets, self-consumption, direct purchases from the producer, rest (includes electronic commerce).

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