Sales of high-end foods are inching upward as consumers look for ways to treat themselves during the pandemic, according to data from IRI.
Sales of premium and superpremium packaged goods were up 1.7% for the 26 weeks ended Oct. 4 over the same period last year. It’s an ongoing trend that is consistent across all income levels, an IRI spokesperson told CNBC.
In a typical recession, consumers trade down across broad categories and limit themselves to small luxuries like pieces of gourmet candy. But as the pandemic wears on with no end in sight, they’re more willing to expand their indulgent purchases, especially since restrictions on eating out and other entertainment leave them with more discretionary income.
“People don’t have that many more avenues to spend, so they do have some money and they are feeding themselves well,” the IRI spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, grocers are nervously eyeing the second wave of the pandemic and bracing for a second round of hoarding, although most of the concerns are around cleaning supplies.