HIM insight shows higher category demands

The boom in digital wholesale channels shows no sign of slowing but with focus now turning to adapting to a new normal, a report from research company HIM says.

While the UK’s lockdown restrictions are likely to be relaxed in the coming weeks, social distancing will remain front and centre of consumers’ minds, so keeping tabs on online data that highlights changing retailer behaviour is crucial.

HIM’s data shows that while shoppers are visiting stores more than twice a week, traditional convenience store products such as newspapers and soft drinks are featuring in fewer baskets and top-up missions for chilled dairy and wrapped bakery are on the rise.

As the nation entered lockdown in March, dried goods including pasta and rice were popular although as sales for those products begin to stabilise, it’s alcohol that seems to be growing in popularity as retailers make up for the closures of pubs and bars. This is reflected by alcohol ranking in 28% of the top search terms between 19 March and 16 April.

Baking products are also peaking in interest, with atta flour seeing a 6,000% increase in online searches on wholesale sites, with yeast, flour and caster sugar also up on average for this time of year.

With demand rapidly changing – and easing of lockdown rules likely to change consumer demand once more – it’s never been more important for wholesalers to make sure tagging is correct on their site and to make sure changes in trends are clearly communicated to retailers so they can carry the right stock.

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