Question of the Day: What grocery items have seen the largest increase in sales when compared to last year?

Apr 01, 2020
Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Current Events



  • Which of these items has your family been buying this month? 
  • How would you categorize these ten items into different groups?
  • How do you think the popularity of these items has affected their price? Do you think the cost has gone up or down? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Time):

Nielsen’s data shows that last week, Americans bought an unusually large amount of non-perishable food, as well as cleaning products, health goods, and lots and lots of toilet paper as they got ready to keep themselves and their homes clean and stocked with food.

As states discouraged Americans from being in large crowds, consumers increasingly shopped for groceries online. Instacart, which delivers goods from local grocery stores, reported that order volume is up by 150% compared to the same period last year; customers were also buying more, with average baskets 15% bigger compared to last month. About 40% of orders used the company’s “leave at my door option” last week—perhaps to reduce contact with the delivery person.


Want to understand more about how the coronavirus is affecting personal finances for individuals and families? Register for this virtual PD on Friday at 1pm PT: Personal Finance in the Age of Pandemic


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.