MERISTEM INSIGHTS
RETURN OF THE HOARDERS
It's the return of the guests we never invited back. According to Chase's consumer card spending tracker, panic buying recently ticked upwards in advance of the winter months. Although the levels haven't reached what we saw in March, there is a clear rise in consumer spending largely in supermarkets and wholesale clubs. What exactly are people buying? The chart below illustrates key category sales growth from March and gives us a pretty strong clue of what buyers may have in their carts now.

While the empty shelves and aisles of particular products seem baffling, researchers point to a fundamental need that drives this behavior. Psychologists cite in times of crisis, we buy to manage our emotional state and take control when we feel out of control. It's a balance of both cognitive and emotional responses. Both play a part in influencing the decisions we make. When emotion gets the upper hand, the uninvited hoarding guests make their return. And the items on the graph above are likely to be in high demand on our local shelves.

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