Consumers Stockpiling Goods Again as Delta Variant Threatens Supply Chains

60% of shoppers with an existing stockpile report they still have products remaining from last year when COVID-19 first hit.

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Nearly 69% of shoppers surveyed are planning to stockpile items such as toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer, as a result of the Delta Variant, according to an Inmar Intelligence survey.

“While we were all hopeful that the pandemic was starting to be behind us, we are unfortunately seeing the opposite, and shoppers are reacting,” says Holly Pavlika, SVP, corporate marketing at Inmar Intelligence. “Shoppers are beginning to have flashbacks of last summer, being in lockdown and not having enough household supplies. This behavior has created a new shopper segment dubbed ‘The Squirrels,’ those who will always have an established stockpile in their homes. 

From Inmar Intelligence:

  • 75% of those surveyed report currently seeing product shortages while shopping. 
  • 60% of shoppers with an existing stockpile report they still have products remaining from when the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first hit, but 45% say they will purchase products for this replenishment that were not in the first, including more freezer items, canned goods and masks. 

“Shoppers are no longer solely relying on delivery or contactless pickup options to complete their shopping lists as we found that those who are continuing to work on a stockpile will shop in-store (46%),” says Pavlika. “But, the unknowns around vaccination status of other shoppers, anxiousness of what is to come in terms of additional variants and potential of increased prices have created a culture where a stockpile will always exist. Retailers will need to continue to be nimble and pivot quickly to keep up with changing behaviors and expectations.”