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Canadians Have Been Buying So Much Flour, Booze & Coffee Says Statistics Canada

If your shopping basket has looked a little different recently, you’re apparently not the only one! Statistics Canada has just revealed some insights into what exactly Canadians have been buying during the pandemic, and it seems we’re all reaching for the same items. In fact, we’re actually shopping at historic levels, and products like flour, alcohol, condoms and coffee have been flying off the shelves.

On Monday, Statistics Canada revealed a sneak-peak into Canada’s recent shopping habits, as we’ve all been spending a lot more money at grocery stores recently.

According to the government agency, in March 2020 grocery store sales surged. By the end of the month, Canadians had actually spent 40% more than they had the previous year.

By April, Canadians had spent a historically high amount of cash, with sales rising 19% year over year in the week ending April 11.

According to Statistics Canada, what we’re all spending our money on is simple; flour, coffee, alcohol, condoms and toilet paper.

It will be no surprise to Canada’s bakers that flour has become a popular product, as it’s been sold out for weeks in many local stores.

In fact, flour sales increased by 200% in March, compared with the same period last year.

Sales of other kitchen supplies, such as butter, margarine, eggs, and milk, have also increased in recent months, which suggests that Canadians are doing more baking than ever!

As many bars and coffee stores closed around the country in March, Canadians bought an increased amount of alcohol and coffee from grocery stores.

In fact, coffee filter sales increased by 68% in the week leading up to April 11, compared to the same time last year.

Similarly, as barber shops and hairdressers closed, the number of people purchasing hair dye products skyrocketed, as a 75% increase in hair colouring supplies was spotted in March and April.

Toilet paper is another product that we’ve been buying a lot of recently, as sales in March and April rose to “above historic levels.”

While sales of family planning products spiked dramatically in the first few weeks of March, this eventually dropped off by April, before falling to historically low levels!

Conversely, since the COVID-19 pandemic Canadians have been spending less money on other products. In particular, cosmetics.

In March, purchases of cosmetic products dropped by a considerable 44%, with hair styling and cutting supplies also falling by 34%.

Hand sanitizer, however, is the one exception, as sales rose up by a whopping 792% in March 2020, compared with the same time last year.

“As Canadian consumers adapt to staying at home, new behaviours and shopping habits are evolving to reflect the new reality,” the government report concludes.

Whether you’re baking a lot more than usual, wearing less make-up, home-dying your hair, or drinking way too much coffee, you can be assured that you’re definitely not the only one!