During the pandemic, consumers were stocking up on groceries and essentials because of product shortages, and taking precautions against COVID, such as making fewer trips to the grocery. Nowadays, buying in bulk has become a way that many consumers feel that they can save money during these inflationary times.
Roughly 75% of consumers surveyed are buying some categories in bulk, Barbara Connors, VP of Commercial Insights at retail data science, insights and media company 84.51˚, told WGB.
“Shoppers who can afford to stock up and buy more bulk products are doing so at an increased rate,” said Connors, adding that research indicates that higher income shoppers making more than $50,000 per year are a little more likely to buy in bulk than those making less than $50,000. “At lower income levels, people are buying smaller sizes because they tend to be less expensive.”
The most common products where consumers are buying in bulk are paper products (55%), household cleaning products (35%), shelf staples (26%) and personal care items (22%), according to Connors.
Smart shopping and personal finance expert Trae Bodge advises consumers to watch out for great deals on paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and napkins in an AARP article. Plastic wrap, plastic storage bags and garbage bags are also good items to buy in bulk, Bodge suggested.
In the article, AARP spoke with four bulk food purchasing experts. They weighed in on the best foods to buy in bulk, and the worst foods to buy in bulk, based on storage and shelf life.
The best foods are: baking ingredients such as flour, sugar and cornstarch; bread; canned fruit and veggies; canned salmon, tuna and sardines; dried beans and freeze-dried coffee; frozen fruits and veggies; grains such as rice and quinoa; nuts; pasta such as spaghetti and macaroni; and peanut butter.
The worst foods are: cheese; fresh or frozen fish; and olive oil.