LISTEN: Yeast and Turkey Bacon Become Popular in the Pandemic

ST. PETERSBURG -- Six months into the pandemic, the way we shop... and what we buy... has changed.

Catalina, a St. Petersburg based company that gathers data through cash register scanners, says people are continuing to make fewer trips to the store but buy more when they go. Spending per trip increased by six percent during August, from $310 to $330 per month, while the number of trips declined 11 percent.

Looking at overall numbers for the past six months, the top three categories for sales increase are no surprise.

1. Liquid Hand Soaps – up 268%

2. Home Health Testing Kits (includes Face Masks)– up 259%

3. Disinfectant Cleaners – up 212%

But then it gets interesting...

4. Frozen Meal Starters – up 189%

5. Meat Substitutes (Shelf-Stable and Refrigerated) – up 126%

6. Yeast (Dry & Refrigerated) – 117%

Marta Cyhan, Catalina's chief marketing officer, says it's the first time in her career, going back two decades, that yeast has been a top ten category. Here are the top six compared year to year.

1. Home Health Testing Kits (includes Face Masks) - up 367%

2. Liquid Hand Soaps - up 224%

3. Disinfectant Cleaners - up 212%)

4. Bacon (Light/Turkey/Chicken) – up 121%

5. Yeast (Dry/Refrigerated) – up 103%

6. Cleaners (Produce/Wash & Rinse) – up 102%

Another strong category... meat substitutes... Cyhan says this could be because supply chain problems make meat harder to find, or because people are trying to eat healthier.

Cyhan says Catalina has noticed that the center aisles, where one finds health supplies, cleaners, paper products and canned goods among other things, have drawn in shoppers who didn't spend as much time or money at supermarkets before the pandemic. She predicts stores will try to market to those 'new shoppers.'

Listen to an interview with Marta Cyhan and follow our Beyond the News podcast on the iHeartRadio app to get more like it:

Photo: Getty Images/AFP