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It’s official: Utahns are #1 panic grocery shoppers

UTAH —  The tracking website Womply.com monitors grocery store spending across the United States. Utahns spent 261% more last week at the grocery stores than the same week a year ago. The grocery stores are struggling to keep up with the demand for more products from Utahns.

It’s official, Utahns are #1 panic grocery store shoppers in the nation.

Year over year change in U.S. grocery shopping sales week of March 8th, 2020 versus March 8th, 2019 -Womply.com

Compare Utah’s grocery store buying spree’s to Maryland, which has the second-highest jump in spending at the grocery store.  Their purchases increased by 124%.  And Montana bought 101% more than the same week last year.

In fact, Brad Lothow, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, says Utahns began buying more than the previous year starting in January 2020, when word of the coronavirus spreading out of China hit the news.

Lothow says there are many contributing factors to Utahs ‘hoarding.’  Typically we have bigger families.  So, Utahns are going to the grocery store to stock up on more products for the household.

Also, we have bigger houses so there’s room to store more items.  Residents in San Francisco or New York City wouldn’t be able to store most bulk items.  And, we have a lot more access to big box stores than other state residents.

But, even one of the hardest-hit states of COVID-19, only increased their spending by 21-percent.  Lothow chalks that up our culture of preparedness and self-reliance.  But, it appears, many Utah families are trying to play ‘catch-up’ with emergency supplies all at once, rather than have their food storage already in place.

So Utahns are hitting the grocery stores hard, buying everything they think they will need.

Even California, which has been under much stricter regulations than Utah for over 3-weeks, has only upped their grocery store purchases by 25-percent over last year.

Every time ‘milestones’ of the coronavirus hits the news, Utahns make much bigger grocery store trips than usual.  Lothow says there was a big spike on January 10th when the 1000th case of coronavirus was announced and again when the first U-S death occurred.

And the biggest run on food items began last week after Governor Herbert announced closures and limiting group sizes in the state.

Once the closures were announced, Utahns rushed to the grocery stores to gather more food and flu-related items.