COVID-19 IMPACT

The Most Detailed Insights on Consumer Behavior, Period

The Numerator Stockpiling Index

The Numerator Stockpiling Index highlights our specialty: insight into the people behind fast moving consumer good spending including who they are and why they buy. 

With the new Numerator Stockpiling Index, we can now provide the most detailed view on how in-store stockpiling behaviors are changing with the dawn of COVID-19. This Index tracks three stockpiling behaviors – pantry fill, stocking-up, and hoarding – and provides a weekly view into the percentage of households exhibiting this behavior versus the prior year.

In order to best understand how to think about these in-store stockpiling behaviors, please review the Guide to Stockpiling Index.

coronavirus stockpiling behavior

Summary

  • Stockpiling behaviors spiked the week of 3/15 in the wake of widespread travel restrictions, event cancellations, and CDC warnings on the COVID-19 virus. The behaviors remained elevated for less than two weeks before retracting sharply as stay-at-home orders went into effect.
  • Since bottoming-out the final week of March, stockpiling behaviors consistently increased throughout the month of April and began declining again in May. They remain significantly elevated from 2019 levels.
  • Overall, hoarding remains a relatively small part of consumer behavior, peaking at 3.1% of total households exhibiting this behavior.
  • Stockpiling behaviors also trend along economic lines and with regional progression of COVID-19. Typically, lower-income families over-index on stockpiling behaviors -- however, during COVID-19, higher-income households are driving the increases in stockpiling behaviors as they have the financial resources to do so. Regional skews mirror the progression of COVID-19 with New England and Mountain areas leading following the outbreaks in Washington state and the northeast.

Spending rebounds in April as the stimulus bill is passed and checks are paid out, and declines slightly the second week of May

  • All 3 behaviors remain significantly elevated versus year ago
  • Pantry fill (1.5x) and stock-up (2.5x) behaviors rose consistently throughout April, peaking the first week of May
  • Hoarding (4x) saw a brief decline the last week of April, but otherwise closely mirrored the other two behaviors
  • As states begin re-opening, Hoarding and Stock-Up trip behavior see a slight uptick the first week of May before dropping again.
coronavirus stockpiling behavior
coronavirus stockpiling behavior

% of Households Participating in Stockpiling Behavior

coronavirus stockpiling behavior
coronavirus stockpiling behavior
coronavirus stockpiling behavior
coronavirus impact on consumer behavior

Update: The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behavior

We’re analyzing Numerator Insights data and surveying verified shoppers to understand how COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is impacting consumer behavior.

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NUM-WR-2020 Coronavirus Updates