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Taking stock of the essentials

September 24, 2020

Are the days of scavenger hunts at the grocery store long gone? Can we count on the essential items being on the shelves during our weekly shopping trips? 

According to data from the month of August, most items were in stock at most stores most of the time. While the issue of COVID-related shortages wasn’t completely resolved, buying habits have leveled off, allowing manufacturers to catch up and make supply chain adjustments. 

Throughout the month, shoppers might have had to visit a couple of extra stores to get everything on their list, but previously scarce items like flour, dried rice and beans, fresh meat and canned soup were pretty easy to find. 

There were a few categories that faced higher levels of stockouts for longer periods of the day, primarily allergy/respiratory medicine and pain relievers. As we approach the cold/flu season, we expect to see continued stock-outs in these areas, but nothing wildly higher than what we’re seeing now. Toilet paper and paper towels also faced shortages, but nothing near what we experienced in the early months of the pandemic. 

Check out the chart below to see how commonly out-of-stock CPG categories fared during the month of August. If your brand falls into one of these categories, consider advertising to new buyers who’ve experienced forced trial over the past few months, with the goal of creating a long-term customer. 

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