Shoppers' Response To Coronavirus Spikes Sales Of Certain Food, Safety Items; Industry Officials, FMI Respond

March 5, 2020

The outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 has some U.S. customers quickly buying food and other products in an effort to prepare themselves, several news media outlets have reported. Sales of spiked for items including hand sanitizer, energy drinks and first aid kids, Nielsen's initial investigation found, CNBC reported. CNBC interviewed food industry spokespeople and experts in the article about consumers' and retailers' responses to the coronavirus.

Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI, which recently published general advice for food retailers, wholesalers and suppliers for preparing and responding to pandemics, was quoted in the article.

"We have to try to understand what consumers are thinking before they think of it,” Baker said in CNBC's article. “In an event like this, you have to quickly adapt to whatever consumer demand is,” he said. “And in a moment of crisis, you have some idea of the demand that may peak, but you don’t know the magnitude to which they’ll peak and the geographies where they’ll peak."

Read more about trends related to coronavirus via the below articles from other publications: Shoppers Likely To Avoid Malls If Coronavirus Escalates

Las Vegas Sun: Coronavirus fears trigger ‘panic buying’ of essentials in Southern Nevada

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Coronavirus Update: Guidance on COVID-19 Food Safety for Consumers, Food Establishments