AFP or licensors

Coronavirus made us buy four times as much bog paper as usual

It’s mid-March and the imminent threat of coronavirus has turned loo paper into gold dust.  It’s the item of choice for the hoarder. Supermarket chain Delhaize has revealed that between 13 March and the end of April it sold 40 million rolls of toilet paper.

Sales figures of this hot item were up 4-fold.  Usually Delhaize customers can get by with only ten million rolls a week.  Toilet rolls were possibly the most sought after item as Belgians came to terms with the restrictions coronavirus was triggering in Belgium and beyond.  The product was also a key must-have item for hoarders around the globe leading to bare shelves in many places.

Flour too was in great demand.  Many people faced the prospect of many weeks at home and what better pastime is there than to bake a cake or loaf of bread to share with your household?  A VRT website with cooking tips that included the recipe for bread was inundated.   

Delhaize too reports a big jump in demand for flour.  “Normally we sell 300,000 packs a week.  At the height of the corona crisis a million packs of flour were being sold a week” says the chain’s Roel Dekelver.

Other items that were going like hotcakes, but not necessarily at Delhaize, included hair buzzers, trampolines, yeast and wine.  Rival Colruyt notched up a tripling in sales of yeast.  There was a 15% increase in sales of beer, wine and crisps at Lidl where wine bag-in-boxes proved most popular.

Festive beverages fared less well.  Champagne and sparkling wines didn’t sell as well as usual.  Sales of shaving cream and razors were down too as people stayed at home.

Top stories