Consumer Products That Are in Shockingly High Demand
3 min read
Consumers may not even notice that the products they are buying more frequently now, are also being bought by other consumers with the same idea! Consumer behavior is interesting, mostly because most consumers don’t recognize they’re participating in it. Different products are in high demand during different times of the year, especially in places where the seasonal changes are evident (like most of us out here on the east coast).
Think about it: when is the only time of year you feel the need to purchase canned pumpkin? During the fall! What about sunscreen or beach towels? During the summer! What about a snow shovel? During the winter! Retailers know that the demand for these products spikes during this time, and they know to prepare for it. But this year, the pandemic has sent some retailers and consumer product manufacturers into chaos as they scramble to respond to consumer demand that they did NOT see coming. What are these products and what are the obscure reasons that consumers are buying more of them?
You have the traditional products that are in high demand right now because of consumer response to fear like toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizer and cleaning wipes, baking products and meat. But what about those products that are also in high demand but may not be quite as obvious? Let’s take a look at how and WHY some products are seeing a spike in sales:
According to Creative Director for Bovanti Cosmetics Marquel Javontei, “The company has seen lip product sales drop by nearly 50%, but sales for some eye products are up 96%.” Before the pandemic, 60% of consumers wore lipstick and now only 23% are wearing it. Why? Everyone is wearing a mask! Lipstick can stain the inside of your mask and what’s the point of wearing it if no one will see it? Many consumers are focusing on their eyes, which makes sense since they are the star of the show with a mask on. Additionally, many consumers are focusing on a simple, easy makeup routine these days.
Plague Doctor Masks for Halloween
Although trick-or-treating was up in the air, many consumers spent Halloween with close family and friends. Plague doctor masks (those black, birdlike masks with really long beaks) are a comedic take on Halloween during well..a pandemic. Last October, this product only sold 201 units on Amazon but this year, it has already sold 2720!
Keeping with the Halloween theme, Google searches for dog costumes have officially reached higher than Google searches for people costumes. If you didn’t go out for Halloween, you might as well have gotten your pet in the spirit!
In the beginning of lockdown, consumers were looking for anyway to stay active and get out of the house- and the demand for bicycles skyrocketed! Even as we move into the holiday season, bicycles are a common Christmas gift which has also increased the demand. Bicycle shop, Crossroads Bicycle Company ordered their Christmas inventory back in July and they’re just now getting it in so they recommend getting your hands on a bike NOW if you want one for the holidays.
SPAM used to get a bad rep in the past, but with doomsday on consumers’ minds (which is a natural response to a pandemic!) many are searching for meat products that have a long shelf-life. Hormel Foods representatives said in the 24 weeks leading up to the first week of September 2020, retail sales of SPAM had increased 28 percent. Way to go SPAM for making a comeback!
Blue Light Glasses
With the new normal of working and taking classes remotely, consumers are looking for ways to protect their eyes from constant screentime. Blue light glasses are meant to deflect the harmful light coming from smart phones or computers, and are even known to help with headaches.
Baby Gates or Mesh Dog Gates
Sitting in the Home & Garden category, these mesh gates allow owners to keep their pets or small children restricted in the house. This is ideal for those who might not want any little creatures wandering in and out of Zoom calls during the work or school day – especially if they like to make noise.
Paint By Number Kits
These kits are great because there are such a wide variety to choose from and it keeps people busy, especially as consumers look for ways to occupy themselves from home.
Some companies are even taking customers own pictures and turning them into their own paint by numbers picture, which adds a sentimental and personal touch to the popular art product.
The social network of the moment — the one that’s currently getting more app downloads than either Snapchat or TikTok: It’s a videoconferencing service called Zoom (ZM), where many peoples’ work and social lives now unfold. In recent weeks, Zoom has emerged as the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store, repeatedly breaking its download records. On Monday March 23rd, Zoom was downloaded 2.13 million times worldwide, up from 2.04 million the day before. Two months prior, the app had just under 56,000 global downloads in a day.
As the coronavirus pandemic has forced millions around the world to stay in their homes, the 9-year-old platform has emerged as the go-to service for not only virtual meetings and classroom lessons but happy hours, costume parties, church services, brunches, book clubs and romantic dates.
With Halloween right around the corner, consumers are gearing up for the possibility of trick-or-treaters just in case. Many companies are working with public health experts and retailers to encourage consumers to participate in trick-or-treating or other Halloween related activities safely (and to purchase their candy to do so!). Not only is the holiday contributing to an increase in candy sales, but also just the consumer need for comfort in a time of uncertainty can lead some to turn to candy for a sweet treat.
From a consumer’s perspective, fast food is convenient and it is a nice treat to break up with monotony from a week of Zoom calls and working from home. McDonald’s and fast food (WSJ) sales have increased 5%, which had been down 9% from the previous year.
From a restaurant perspective, takeout containers – paper bag, drink totes, to go boxes – are in such a high demand from takeout order, that many are experiencing a HUGE shortage!
Sales of vitamin and mineral supplements have risen sharply (17%) during the pandemic as people seek to improve their health and deter illness. This makes sense as the impending threat of a pandemic has encouraged many consumers to take their physical health more seriously. Going hand-in-hand with vitamins for physical health, products for home gyms (like dumbbells)have also increased since the pandemic as consumers transition their workout routines from the gym to their homes.
Institutions like schools, hospitals, universities, and investment banks have deployed technology like telemedicine to identify COVID-19 cases in order to keep their workplaces safer. It no longer makes sense for a lot of consumers to physically go to the doctor’s office for a health issue that they can discuss over a video chat. Especially for elderly consumers who either can’t leave the house or don’t feel comfortable doing so, health technology has been increasingly popular recently.
Watch our interview on this topic here with consumer trends expert, Dr. Audrey Guskey:
Have you noticed any other products in high demand recently? What products do you predict will be in high demand in the future?
Let us know in the comments below!
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