The Most Wanted COVID-19 Grocery Items, According to Willy Street Co-op

By Shelby Rowe Moyer | Photo credit: Michael Conway, courtesy Willy Street Co-op 

Toilet paper was being wiped off grocery store shelves like it was a cure for the coronavirus, but what else are self-quarantiners stocking up on?

Willy Street Co-op (which has three locations throughout the city) compiled a list of the hottest-selling items since the COVID-19 quarantine began a little over two months ago, and it’s pretty interesting. As we look back on this time years later, grocery store lists will be a good representation of how people were thinking and feeling, and we’re betting you’ve scooped up several of these items yourself.

“The top 10 products were somewhat predictable, but there are a few things that took us by surprise,” says Megan Minnick, purchasing director at the Co-op, in a statement. “Many of the things that are really selling now were declining in popularity before COVID-19, and many of the things that are declining now were really trending before COVID-19. It’s turned everything on its head.”

Without further ado, here are Willy Street’s top selling items for the last two months.

Top 10

  • Staple products for cooking meals at home, like rice, pasta, savory sauces and olive oils
  • Products for home baking like flour, yeast and butter
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Beer and wine
  • Peanut butter
  • Bread
  • Frozen pizza
  • Meat — all of it. The highest growth is in frozen and fresh beef and pork.
  • Hair dye and self-care items, like bath salts, bath bombs and scented candles
  • Plant starts and gardening supplies

Top 5 Unexpected Sellers

  • Sports drinks and powders
  • Swiss cheese
  • Soy sauce
  • Coffee filters
  • Fresh garlic and hot peppers 

Top 5 Nonstarters

  • Fresh cut fruits and veggies
  • Nutrition bars, granola bars and snack bars of all kinds
  • Cosmetics, deodorant, hair styling gel and breath fresheners
  • Deli foods
  • Anything that’s a single serving, from beverages, to ice cream bars, to yogurt.
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