What was behind the big spike in alcohol and meat sales during lockdown?

Central England Co-op thinks a spike in meat sales during lockdown was due to more men shopping Pic

Central England Co-op thinks a spike in meat sales during lockdown was due to more men shopping Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A big rise in protein sales during lockdown suggests men were doing more of the shopping during the pandemic, a retail chain believes.

Central England Co-op staff has analysed how shopping habits changed during lockdown Picture: ALEX

Central England Co-op staff has analysed how shopping habits changed during lockdown Picture: ALEX CANTRILL-JONES - Credit: Archant

Central England Co-op – which owns 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including Suffolk and Norfolk – saw a surprise rise in meat-based sales. Chicken saw the biggest spike.

The chain’s research into how shopping habits changed for its customers during the period revealed some expected and some unexpected results.

MORE – Fashion retailer set to axe town store as it tightens its beltIt saw record sales of beers, wines and spirits which were even higher than at Christmas as pubs shut down.

And at the start of lockdown, hand sanitiser and toilet rolls flew off the shelves.

But the surprise jumps were in meat products and in garden plants.


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Six weeks’ supply of garden plants sold out in just two days.

Stockpiling also results in big rises in sales of long-life and frozen products as well as fresh foods.

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Average basket sizes increased dramatically as many people swapped a weekly big shop to regular visits to convenience retail sites, the retailer said.

Customer analytics manager Marta Foley said: “These findings truly showcase how we all changed the way we shopped for food and essentials during lockdown.

“Some elements will not come as much of a surprise but other elements have revealed the extent of the uncertain times that we now live in.”

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