Consumers Turn Into Chefs As Pandemic Lockdown Drives Niche Grocer Sales

By ELLEN PAGE

Food and beverages that are flying off the shelves during the Pandemic run the gamut from home-made baking ingredients to hard liquor.

People may be slowly venturing out of the house but are extremely adventurous when it comes to buying food during another phase of Pandemic lockdown.

Across the country, customers are buying unique items they might not try if they were eating as much in restaurants. As restaurant visits and dining out has been dwindling because of COVID-19, shoppers are making the most of dinner at home.

Don Julio Blanco - Courtesy Don Julio
Don Julio Blanco – Courtesy Don Julio

In Southern California, the alcoholic beverages of choice are Tequila and vodka, wine, beer and alcohol-infused sparkling waters. Anecdotally, tequila has been a popular choice in liquor since March when the lockdown began. The agave-based alcohol is used in a wide line of drink recipes with Don Julio leading the pack. Its high-quality, top-shelf status is in a league of its own.

Plant-based meat and organics have become the rage as Beyond Meat of El Segundo has dominated in the niche. The Southern California company has been enjoying success with customers saying the product “tastes like falafel.”

Beyond Meat Sausage - Courtesy of Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat Sausage – Courtesy of Beyond Meat

Baking products like flour and sugar are crossing the belts at the supermarkets also, but it’s yeast that has been flying off the shelves. When it can be found in stock, that is. Estimates indicate a 150 percent increase in the use of the rising agent, as more people are staying home and, yes: Baking bread.  Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast is getting a run for its money from Bob’s Red Mill Active Dry Yeast.

Packaged and refrigerated raviolis, tortellinis and high-end pasta sauces conjure up the feeling of being at an Italian restaurant right in your home. Buitoni which started in the 1800s still sticks to the original ingredients and classic recipes. It’s the standard to follow in the pasta biz.

Buitoni ravioli – Courtesy

Barbeque items are popular during the summer months, after all if you’re stuck at home, you may as well try to make it seem like a normal summer. Burgers, hot dogs and the traditional and Hawaiian buns serve as comfort food in trying times.

 

 

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