COVID-19: Category Insights – Flour Power!

Consumer habits and behaviour drastically changed as a result of  COVID-19 in the past few weeks. As consumer demand changes, many businesses are adapting to meet consumer needs. Luxury perfume companies and liquor companies are making hand sanitisers, while others are trying to curb the shortage of face masks. We, at ChannelSight saw some interesting basket combinations shared in our earlier blog.  This week we deep-dive into the data we have here at ChannelSight, particularly looking at the food and beverage industry.

The food and beverage industry in particular has faced a number of challenges. There was an increase in the demand for online groceries as consumers rushed to stock their pantries and supermarkets had to source a larger number of supplies. Initially the trends were clouded by panic buying of items leaving supermarkets empty. Now, the supplies have become more steady. It’s vital to realise that the trends will continuously change due to the ever changing scenario. 

Food and Beverage Industry Trends

Overall, the food and beverage industry has seen a sharp increase in demand online since the start of this year. Drawing on our data at ChannelSight, the graph below shows the sharp increase in the leads for online groceries as well as the sharp increase in sales. 

In particular, the sharp increase happened between February and March and then again from March to April as many lockdowns were extended.

These trends further illustrate the swift change in consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic. This changing consumer behaviour drastically impacted the size of shopping baskets as more people aim to stock their pantries rather than have to go to the supermarket repeatedly.

Hero Products

While overall the food and beverage industry has grown, there are a few key products that contributed greatly in fuelling the growth in the food category. We have seen evidence of drastic increases in products that have a longer shelf life, including pasta and rice. This trend has also been experienced by many supermarkets that have repeatedly been  on low supplies of flour. 

The graphs below show the sharp increase for the click data as well as conversion data for flour, a product that has been high in demand as many people have begun to bake at home to treat themselves while also gaining new skills (win-win). 


From March to April, the increase is much higher than from February to March. This mirrors the gradual introductions across countries of lockdown restrictions. The increase from February to March was fuelled in the anticipation of lockdowns across many European countries. This then escalated from March to April as the lockdowns became more severe. 

Looking for More Insights? 

We currently have a dynamic market tracker which provides eCommerce data from a number of markets. You can also build your own reports on it. You can also reach out to us if you would like more information