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Apr 30, 2020

Nielsen Covid-19 Barometer: Portuguese keep tradition at Easter in quarantine

Tradiation at a quarantined Easter

  •  9% growth in Large Assets Consumption in week 15
  • Online sales maintain growth trend
  • Fresh, Confectionery / Sweets and Drinks stand out at the table of the Portuguese
  • Personal and Home Hygiene lose due to storage effect
  • Consumption rises in several European countries

 The sixth edition of the Nielsen weekly Barometer on the impact of the pandemic coincides with the week of Easter celebration. This week 15 (6 to 12 April 2020) sales of FMCG products are around 181 million euros, a 9% increase compared to the same period last year and a stabilization of consumption compared to the previous week.

This period, associated with one of the most significant religious celebrations and dates in the family calendar for the Portuguese, was marked by the impact of the restrictions measures integrated into the national State of Emergency, namely the control of circulation, which brought changes to the usual routines of this time .


Boosted by confinement at home, online sales continue to grow at a very high rate. This week, the number of online shopping occasions grows 110% and increases 128% in new homes.

Easter table boosts consumption

The fact that they are in quarantine does not seem to have prevented the Portuguese from having the essential products and dishes at their table at this time of year, motivating the growth of the categories of Food (+ 13%), Drinks (+ 8%) and Fresh ( + 1%).

Confectionery and Confectionery (+ 14%) entered this week for the ranking of the categories that most grow in Food; Alcoholic Beverages and Beers / Ciders / Panaches both registered an increase of 18%; and Vegetables and Butchers, especially sheep / goat meat (+ 83%), stand out among the Frescos, suggesting that meals at home will have had more expression and proving that consumers have kept the tradition at the table.


“The analyzed trends show that, despite the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves, the Portuguese have not overlooked one of the most relevant dates on the calendar, either because of its religious connotation, or because of the usual reunion provided to families around a shared table. .

This attempt to ensure the possible normality and continuity of tradition in the context of the pandemic and confinement has led to a notable increase in certain food segments, motivated by the demand for the usual products.

The tendency among consumers to avoid abandoning the products to which they are accustomed is evident, even in the course of a huge challenge such as the current one, and, therefore, the role seems to be ensured for a set of categories that are closely related with core values ​​such as family and sharing ”, explains Marta Teotónio Pereira, Senior Client Consultant at Nielsen.

Storage leads to loss in Personal and Home Hygiene

This week sees a 5% drop in the Personal Hygiene and Home category, driven by the decrease in many categories due to the fact that people are at home, but also provided by the storage already carried out in previous weeks.


A trend that is reflected in the decrease between Toilet Paper (-13%) and Clothing Products (-13%), for example, which had seen increases in previous weeks.

Private Brand breaks down

If the Private Brand had been gaining weight more clearly since week 11, when the Portuguese prepared their pantry to “face” their stay at home, week 15 points to an inversion of this trend, reducing its importance in view of the previous week (31,7% versus 33,2%).

The promotional trend, on the other hand, is positive due to the importance of the brochure, which, after the minimum recorded in week 13, now seems to be gaining expression again.

Dynamics are aligned in the European context

After a week in which the dynamics in the European context showed different realities of response to the pandemic, this week 15 seems to be in alignment with regard to this indicator.


Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom show growth compared to the previous week, showing a general increase in consumption in a period traditionally marked by a celebratory atmosphere.


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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