CivicScience | Americans Plan to Stockpile Essentials Once Again

General

Americans Plan to Stockpile Essentials Once Again

Image Credit: Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

With coronavirus cases once again rising nationwide and winter weather on the horizon, half of Americans are going the squirrel route and collecting their acorns for what might be a long and drawn out winter.

In short: Half the nation (51%) is planning on stocking up on stuff again, which is only a little less than in the spring.

So far, we know that this time around people of all residential areas and from all age groups equally say they will stock up on household essentials and food. Wealthier consumers, in households making over $100K a year, are much less concerned with stocking up.

But women are much more likely than men to report doing so. Worth noting is that the gender split for general topics like this is rarely as wide.

Perspective on Pandemic and Politics

The split between the left and the right is not as stark as one might expect, with more than 40% of self-identified Republicans ready to line their pantries and cabinets. On the other side, 58% of Democrats plan to do the same. And while this is a significant difference, it’s a much tighter number than the divide over other coronavirus issues.

In general, those who have more concerns and less optimism about the pandemic are likely to be stocking up again. For example, people who think the coronavirus problem is going to last well into May of 2021 are 29% more likely to stock up now.

It’s roughly the same split when it comes to concern level about access to treatment for COVID-19.

Once again, similar numbers play out when it comes to comfort going to restaurants, with 59% of Americans who are avoiding restaurants planning to hit their local superstores due to the coronavirus.

Top Categories

When it comes to individual product categories, a few stand out. About a third of respondents plan on stocking their homes with disinfecting products, followed closely by (of course) toilet paper and soap.

It’s possible that TP is going to be even more challenging to get this time around. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents indicated TP was a priority, compared with 28% back in April.

A little further down the line, a quarter of Americans are going to stock up on dry, canned, and/or frozen foods at a significantly lower rate than during the last surge in bulk buying.

Overall, it’s clear there is going to be a run on some products as the temperatures drop and coronavirus cases rise. While consumers would be wise to pick up a few necessities before they’re gone, manufacturers would be even wiser to keep those lines running 24/7, because the demand is clearly there.

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