Coronavirus concern levels among primary grocery shoppers in the U.S. have remained mostly flat between September 2021 and January 2022, according to the monthly primary shopper survey series by IRI. “In January, 38% of the population were extremely concerned over COVID-19, which was down sharply from 66% in April 2020,” said Jonna Parker, Team Lead for IRI Fresh. “Shoppers are very aware of food inflation (89%) and the vast majority (95%) worry about it. In total, 42% of shoppers are extremely concerned about the price increases they are seeing across the store — which means food inflation has more people on high alert than COVID-19 as of January 2022.”
The combined effect of concerns over COVID-19, inflation and supply chain challenges explains why shopper demand remains in flux as we enter the third pandemic year. In 2022, IRI, 210 Analytics and the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) will continue to team up to document the ever-changing marketplace and its impact on fresh produce sales.
The combination of 40-year high inflation and the upswing in COVID-19 cases moved more meals to the home in January 2022, at 82% of all meal occasions. This is the highest number since February 2021.