The Most Detailed Insights on Consumer Behavior, Period

The Numerator Stockpiling Index

The Numerator Stockpiling Index provides the most detailed view into consumer behavior, showing how in-store stockpiling behaviors have changed throughout the duration 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.


Interactivity tips: View on a laptop or desktop computer for the best experience. Click behaviors in the legend to hide/show on the graph, and hover over green circles and stockpiling definition circles for additional information. 


Stockpiling Behavior Overview

The Latest

  • Week 50 shows an under-indexing of stockpiling behaviors, though overall percent of households participating in these behaviors remained in-line with prior weeks. Under-index driven by last year's surge in large shopping trips leading up to Christmas, which were less prevalent this year.
  • The most recent bump in stockpiling behavior was seen in week 46 (11/9 - 11/15) as the country hit 11 million COVID-19 cases and grappled with the second major wave of COVID-19. 
  • Stockpiling behaviors are likely to see fewer dramatic spikes amidst this "second wave" because consumers have more familiarity with stay-at-home measures and what to expect, tempering much of the uncertainty and panic-buying we saw in March. 

Earlier this Year

  • All stockpiling behaviors began ramping up in week 10 (3/2 - 3/8) amidst widespread event cancellations and increasing uncertainty about the novel Coronavirus.
  • Stockpiling behaviors peaked in weeks 11 & 12 (3/9 - 3/22) as WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the White House advised 15 days of restricted activity, and states began imposing stay-at-home orders. 
  • After a few weeks of tempered behaviors as consumers rode out stay-at-home orders, stockpiling rebounded as restrictions eased in late April. From there, stockpiling remained above year-ago levels as consumers adjusted to increased at-home consumption, but declined overall excluding occasional boosts correlating to COVID-19 case surges. 
  • Elevated levels of stockpiling were also seen in late September as the US passed 7M COVID-19 cases and 200k fatalities.  
  • At the peak of stockpiling in week 11, we saw 38.5% of households participating in pantry filling behavior (1.5x their average spend), 15.3% in stock-up behavior (2x spend) and 6.3% participating in hoarding (4x spend).
  • Stockpiling behaviors also trend along economic lines, with higher-income households fueling the increases in stockpiling amidst the pandemic.
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