Supermarket spending, December 2020 - Supplementary COVID-19 analysis

Additional data analysis of supermarket and grocery stores spending

Released
5/02/2021

Introduction

To enhance the understanding of the economic impacts of COVID-19, scanner data was used to conduct analysis on supermarkets and grocery stores spending.

The data presented is in original terms, and may differ from the data presented in the Retail publication. This is because scanner data is only collected from large providers and, to enhance this analysis, certain product types sold by supermarkets are excluded. 

Spending by product group

For the purpose of this analysis, supermarket products were split into three categories. Perishable goods contain fresh food items such as fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy. Non-perishable goods contain food items with a long shelf life such as flour, sugar, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned and dry mix soups, confectionary and long-life milk products. All other products contain non-food items such as cleaning products, medicinal products, toiletries and toilet paper.

Turnover rose for Perishable goods (10.5%), Non-perishable goods (6.9%) and All other products (6.5%) in December 2020 compared to November 2020, in original terms.

Retail turnover for all three categories continues to remain at higher levels when compared to December 2019. Annually, Perishable goods rose 9.7%, Non-perishable goods 7.6%, and All other products 4.9%. 

Spending by city, and state and territory

The heat map below denotes the annual revenue movements for each capital city, state and territory, at the Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) level, where the colour of each region denotes the annual revenue percentage movement for December 2020 compared to December 2019.

Heat map below denotes the annual revenue movements for each capital city, state and territory

Annual revenue percentage movements at the capital city, state and territory level are showing increases across Australia. Of the capital cities, Darwin (15.8%) and Brisbane (9.6%) recorded the largest annual rises. For the rest of state and territory areas, Rest of Western Australia (11.3%) and Rest of Queensland (11.0%) recorded the largest annual rises.

Monthly revenue movements show that food consumption in regional areas of Australia is consistently stronger than the capital cities in the month of December compared to November, as the end of year holiday period sets in.

Monthly rises in New South Wales are stronger in December 2020 compared to December 2019. Lockdown restrictions were re-instated for the Northern Beaches and surrounding areas following an increase in community transmissions in December 2020, however the localised nature of the lockdown did not lead to a widespread spike in supermarket sales in New South Wales.

Monthly rises in Victoria are weaker in December 2020 compared to December 2019 as Victoria continued to ease restrictions in October and November 2020.

Monthly rises in South Australia are also weaker in December 2020 compared to December 2019, with Adelaide showing the weakest rise of all the capital cities in December 2020. This follows rises in November 2020 as lockdown restrictions were reinstated following an increase in community transmissions in South Australia. These restrictions were eased at the end of November 2020.