Know More About How Reopening Might Affect Your Brand & Category

Numerator Grocery
Vulnerability Index

With many Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs) and restaurants closed or limited since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have had to shift spending to groceries and other at-home meal options. With reopening in sight, how will various grocery categories be affected as consumers return to restaurants and QSRs? In other words, which categories are the most vulnerable to changes in spending?

To answer this question, Numerator has created the Grocery Vulnerability Index. The Grocery Vulnerability Index leverages the Numerator OmniPanel, the largest omnichannel consumer panel, to measure the likelihood that a change in QSR/Restaurant spending will correlate to or result in a change of spending for a given category.

To understand more about the vulnerability of your brand & category, contact your Numerator consultant.



  • Consumer spending on QSR/Restaurants and on the Grocery Sector were correlated in 4-week rolling periods for each of the weeks during the COVID period (3/9/2020 - 2/7/2021).
  • Similarly, correlations between each individual Grocery category and QSR/Restaurant spending were calculated over the same COVID analysis period.
  • The correlation for each Grocery category is indexed to the average correlation observed for the overall Grocery Sector to provide the likelihood that increased spending on QSR/Restaurants will result in a decrease in spending for a given Grocery category.
  • The categories with the highest index score are most likely to be negatively affected when consumers return to pre-COVID QSR/Restaurant spending behavior.

Key Findings

Meat: Highly Vulnerable. 50% more likely than the average grocery category to have a negative response in sales when QSR/restaurants reopen as consumers swap the grill for a menu.

Herbs & Spices: Highly Vulnerable. 46% more likely to have a negative response in sales when QSR/restaurants reopen as at-home food preparation declines.

Condiments: Moderately Vulnerable. 19% more likely to have a negative response in sales as consumers stop eating 3 meals per day at home.

Packaged Bakery: Moderately Vulnerable. 13% more likely to have a negative response as consumers increase mobility and purchase baked goods from QSRs

Dairy: Moderately Vulnerable. 8% more likely to have a negative response as consumers cook less, using fewer ingredients and consume fewer drinks and snacks at home.

Frozen Foods: Wait & See. Some categories are more vulnerable than others to a negative response.

Baking & Cooking: Wait & See. While at-home, consumers might have developed a baking habit which might reduce the vulnerability of this category.


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NUM-WR-2020 Coronavirus Updates