The Independent

Covid changed the way we shop – is it chanǀng back?

New analysis shows that ready meal sales are on the rise as our lives become busier again, writes

- CHRIS STEVENSON Chris Stevenson

There has been plenty of correspond­ence from readers about the supply-chain crisis affecting supermarke­ts and businesses.

The latest is that supermarke­t prices had risen 1.3 per cent in the four weeks to 5 September, compared to last year, according to analysts Kantar. That is itself an increase on the 0.4 per cent rise during the previous month. It comes as business leaders warn of the joint impact of disruption from Covid-19 and Brexit – a fact not lost on readers, many of whom have called on the government to do more to try and ease the problems.

There are also some other interestin­g elements in the Kantar analysis. Sales of chilled ready meals were said to be up by 11 per cent during the past month as lives get busier again following the release of many Covid restrictio­ns. The first week of September also contained the highest supermarke­t footfall since Easter.

How we are shopping is seemingly shifting – with perhaps more smaller trips or grabbing items when already out. According to Kantar, the average online shop is now worth £78.28, which is nearly £17 less than the peak recorded at the start of the pandemic. The percentage of those shopping for groceries online has also fallen to 12.2 per cent, a drop of nearly a percentage point compared to four weeks ago – which is apparently the lowest level since May last year.

No doubt our habits will continue to change and may be further affected by disruption. Warnings about the potential for supply issues at Christmas have not gone down well with readers. I’m sure we will be hearing plenty of updates from retailers in the weeks ahead.

I’d also be interested to hear from readers about whether the way they shop has reverted to be closer to a pre-pandemic routine, or whether you are sticking to habits formed over the last 18 months.


Chris Stevenson

Voices editor

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 ?? (PA) ?? Food for thought: shoppers are returning to supermarke­ts in greater numbers
(PA) Food for thought: shoppers are returning to supermarke­ts in greater numbers

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