Chris Morley, managing director of market research firm Kantar, wrote a blog post on LinkedIn titled Why stockpiling is not the crazy, selfish behaviour that it seems.
« Huge volumes of shoppers were adding a few extra purchases of products they normally buy and adding a few purchases of categories that they don’t often buy into their trolley or basket and were doing this more frequently, i.e. also shopping more regularly than normal, across these first few weeks. This adds up to a whole lot of buying. »
« So, for categories that people buy frequently and in volume, like bread, fruit, meat, where there is a lot of inventory to go at, the shelves gradually became empty but for categories that most people don’t buy often at all, they were wiped out almost immediately. »
« It also explains why retailers’ restrictions on certain categories to several purchases per shopper and the government’s pleas to not buy more than you need, have not worked very well so far. »
Les Binet tweeted: « It sounds like “panic buying” follows the usual Ehrenberg-Bass principles, with sales increases mainly driven by a lot of light buyers buying slightly more, rather than a small minority of heavy buyers clearing the shelves. »
Greg Callus tweeted: « Huge swathes of the population who were eating 1 (or even 2 or 3) meals out (cafe breakfast, Pret lunch, work dinner) are now home-working so eating at home & many kids aren’t getting school meals. Inexperienced cooks, new to it, invariably buy too much (quantity & variety). »