Stockpiling food a growing trend, says survey

A survey by the Baltic supermarket chain Maxima suggests that stockpiling food remains popular among consumers even with the falling-away of epidemiological restrictions that prompted it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest Maxima Retail Compass survey shows that almost 80% of the public is currently holding on to new grocery shopping and eating habits developed over the past two years, and just 4% plan on returning to their prior habits.

"As part of the survey undertaken this spring, certain trends have become strengthened over the past three years. If 16% of respondents in March 2020 began stockpiling food after hearing about the new virus, two years later nearly 26% of respondents do the same. Consistent growth is also shown by the choice to shop online: if the first wave of the pandemic saw 3.5% of respondents shopping online more frequently, this figure is now almost 20%," Maxima said.

Although the supermarket format has remained the most popular among the public even with the pandemic, its popularity has decreased from almost 73% to 70% since 2019, the pre-Covid period.

Almost 42% of respondents prioritise hypermarkets, overtaking small stores in residential areas, which are currently the everyday choice of 36% of respondents (compared with 41% in 2019).

The largest changes over the past three years impact the less popular shopping channels: markets and online stores. While the smallest proportion of the public this year since the survey began in 2017 does their everyday shopping in the market (21%, down from 28%), online stores are seeing large growth, with 9% of respondents prioritising them this year, which is almost seven percentage points higher than in 2019. 

The overview is based on Maxima Latvija data, in addition to support from the public opinion research company SKDS, and data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia and other sources. The survey was undertaken by SKDS in April 2022. 1,005 residents of Latvia aged between 18 and 75 participated.

The full Maxima Retail Compass report is available on the Maxima Latvija website: https://www.maxima.lv/kompass

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