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Apr 2, 2020

Covid-19 Barometer: Portuguese run to stores

Nielsen Barometer:

  • Consumption increases when the pandemic is declared and the closure of schools is announced
  • Personal and household hygiene products and food dominate consumption among the Portuguese
  • Race to stores felt throughout the national territory
  • The preparation of the Portuguese pantry begins


The second edition of the Nielsen weekly Barometer on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumption reveals a high growth for Consumer Goods in Hipers + Supers compared to the same period (+ 65% in week 11 - between 9 and 15 March ). The Portuguese started this week to prepare their pantry and the highlight was the most essential categories to face this situation.


Race to store “essential” products

There is an increased concern among the Portuguese with the storage of personal and household hygiene products (+ 95% in week 11 compared to the same week) and food products (+ 91%).

In Personal and Home Care products, it is the Toilet Paper that registers the greatest growth (above 200%) but Handkerchiefs, Rolls and Napkins, Products for Clothes and Dishes, Home Cleaning, Body Hygiene, Diapers / Wipes and Care Health also exceed double sales.

With regard to Food, Canned Goods and Basic Products remain at the top, with growths above 200%. Instantaneous Products, Infant Food, Frozen Products and Olive Oil / Oils / Condiments and Seasonings are also growing very sharply, exceeding double sales in week 11 (growth> 100%).

nielsen barometer


Consumer concerns dictate consumption

Nielsen identifies the six stages of consumer adaptation to this new reality: the proactive purchase of Health, the reactive management of Health, the preparation of the pantry, the preparation for quarantine, life with restrictions and life under a new normality.

In the week under review (week 11), WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic and the closure of all schools was announced. It was also this week that the European continent became the epicenter of this outbreak.

Thus Portugal enters the third of the six stages identified by Nielsen - # 3 Preparation of the Pantry.

nielsen barometer


Preparing the expense was a cross-cutting concern across the territory

The concern with storage was felt, globally, throughout the national territory, with strong growth in all districts (between 59% and 74%).

nielsen barometer

Notably, we saw an increase in the value of sales compared to the same period (for week 11) in the districts of Bragança - which stands out with + 74% -, Santarém, Guarda, Setúbal, Lisbon, Leiria, Porto and Vila Real .



Growth in all types of stores

The growth seen in this week of analysis happens in all types of stores: Hipers grow 60%, Supers Grandes 75% and Supers Pequenos 57%, with no one already standing out so clearly.

“After this real rush to the stores to prepare their pantry, the Portuguese move on to a new phase: preparing for quarantined life. In this new stage, the demand for online is becoming more and more evident and some differences in the typologies of store chosen may be noted. It will also be interesting to see the impact that the announcement of the closing of commercial establishments may have on the food retail and on the purchasing decisions of Portuguese consumers ”, comments Marta Teotónio Pereira, Client Consultant Senior at Nielsen.

About Nielsen:

 Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global data measurement and analysis company that provides the most complete and reliable insight into consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the truth indicator about media markets, provides the media and advertising sectors with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the sector required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer goods brands and retailers with accurate and practical information and insights and a complete view of the complex and changing market that companies need to innovate and grow.

Our approach combines original data from Nielsen and other sources of information to help customers globally understand what is happening in the present, what is going to happen in the future and how to act on this knowledge.

A S&P 500 company, Nielsen is present in more than 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world population. For additional information, visit https://www.nielsen.com/pt/pt/.


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