Coronavirus fears appear to be driving up sales of oat milk, fruit snacks, toilet paper, and more - here's what people are buying

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Coronavirus fears appear to be driving up sales of oat milk, fruit snacks, toilet paper, and more - here's what people are buying

milk

  • Nielsen data shows people are buying masks, hand sanitizer, oat milk, nutrition bars, and more as coronavirus spreads.
  • US sales of hand sanitizer soared 428% in the week ending January 25 compared with the same period last year.
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The novel coronavirus has led to dire shortages at stores in China, Italy, and elsewhere in recent weeks as retailers grapple with supply chain disruptions and a surge in sales of certain products, such as face masks and hand sanitizer.

Some supply shortages may now be spreading to the US, as consumers rush to stock up on medical supplies and shelf-stable foods.

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So what are people buying, exactly?

Nielsen data shows spikes in sales of masks, thermometers, and many shelf-stable foods starting as early as January in the US.

Here's the list of products that saw some of the biggest sales increases in the week ending January 25 - which is the most recent data available - compared to the same week in 2019, according to Nielsen Retail Measurement Services.

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Oat milk: 441% sales increase

Oat milk: 441% sales increase

Oat milk is generally shelf stable, unlike dairy milk.

Medical masks: 428% sales increase

Medical masks: 428% sales increase

These include surgical and N95 respirator masks.

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Household maintenance masks: 218% sales increase

Household maintenance masks: 218% sales increase

Thermometers: 43% sales increase

Thermometers: 43% sales increase
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Hand sanitizer: 20% sales increase

Hand sanitizer: 20% sales increase

Fruit snacks: 10.4% sales increase

Fruit snacks: 10.4% sales increase
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Pretzels: 8.2% sales increase

Pretzels: 8.2% sales increase

Cat food: 7.5% sales increase

Cat food: 7.5% sales increase
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Sanitary pads: 7% sales increase

Sanitary pads: 7% sales increase

Health and nutrition bars: 6.6% sales increase

Health and nutrition bars: 6.6% sales increase
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Vitamins: 5.4% sales increase

Vitamins: 5.4% sales increase

Toilet paper: 5.4% sales increase

Toilet paper: 5.4% sales increase
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Tampons: 4.5% sales increase

Tampons: 4.5% sales increase

Water: 2.4% sales increase

Water: 2.4% sales increase
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