COVID-19

Meijer: Pandemic changed what we shop for

The retailer has been studying trends in what people bought over the past year.

We all remember the early days of the coronavirus pandemic: Anxiety, stay-at-home orders, and people hoarding toilet paper.

According to the retail giant Meijer, toilet paper isn’t the only thing people bought in unusually large amounts.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

The retailer has been taking stock of how shopping habits changed over the course of the past year.

Besides toilet paper, people were prone to stocking up on all sorts of staples. This has been especially true during times when new infection numbers were highest and people were limiting their grocery trips as much as possible.

Meijer said premade meals became a popular item during the pandemic. Sales of things like rotisserie chicken rose through the roof. As recently as last month, Meijer sold 500,000 of those across its 256 stores.

Naturally, people became very interested in things they could use to pass the time during lockdowns. Meijer said sales of games, movies, and workout equipment increased as people struggled to occupy themselves without aid of movie theaters and public gyms.

What didn’t sell as well? Apparently, people bought a whole lot less gasoline during the pandemic. That has started to change recently as travel patterns have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.