Nielsen: Sales taper at end of March but remain huge

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Nielsen: Sales taper at end of March but remain huge

By Dan Ochwat - 04/03/2020
The last roll of toilet paper at a Walgreens in Chicago.

Nielsen released U.S. dollar figures for a four-week period ended March 28, and while sales may have tapered a bit compared with reportings from earlier in the month, sales are still massive. 

Overall CPG sales were up 22% for the week ended March 28, year over year, compared to nearly 68% for the week ending March 21, compared to the same week a year ago. Certain categories saw huge gains, however, specifically baking yeast with a week-over-week gain of 456.7% and spiral hams at 413%.

Toilet paper was up 47.5% for the week ended March 28, but was up 123.5% the previous week. Year over year sales for the four-weeks showed an 112% increase. Numbers for facial tissue and paper towels were in a similar range.

Hand sanitizer was up 63.4% for the week of March 28 compared with a nearly 193% lift for the week ending March 21. The four-week period showed a lift of 238.5%, ended March 28. Compared with the four-week period ending in February, hand sanitizer sales were up 313%.

In food categories like beef and chicken, the sales jumps for the four-week period hovered around 50%.

Black beans, rice and pasta were showing gains of around 100% for the week ended March 28 and four-week periods ranged from 124% to 136%.

Euromonitor International also released numbers for April 2, as part of its coronavirus price and availability tracker that showed nearly a quarter of essential product SKUs were reported out of stock online in the United States. and Canada for the day.