Flour, mozzarella, and hair dye: Here’s what Italians are buying under lockdown

Flour, mozzarella, and hair dye: Here's what Italians are buying under lockdown
A masked shopper leave an Italian supermarket. Photo: AFP
Italian shopping habits have changed dramatically since the coronavirus outbreak began and quarantine measures were enforced, supermarket data shows.

Under lockdown, people across Italy are apparently unleashing their inner pizzaiolo or fornaio (pizza chef or baker) and making their own bread, pizza and cakes at home – at least according to the latest supermarket sales figures.

Sales of flour rose by 205 percent and brewer's yeast by 114 percent in March, according to monthly figures from the Coop supermarket's research office.

Photo: AFP

Eggs were also in high demand, rising by 58 percent, while sales of sugar, jams and preserves almost doubled.

And sales of mozzarella cheese have shot up by 125 percent.

Denied the usual trips to the hairdresser, Italians are also turning to the DIY option – sales of home hair dye kits rose by 135 percent.

Alcohol sales rose less dramatically. Shoppers bought 31 percent more wine than usual in March, 13 percent more aperitifs, and nine percent more beer.

Predictably, disinfectant seems to be the thing Italians are now buying the most of.

Sales of Amuchina gel, the country's most popular disinfectant brand, were up by 398 percent compared to the same period a year ago. During the first three weeks of the outbreak, Amuchina gel sales were as much as 561 percent higher than usual.

With hand sanitser hard to find, sales of dinisnfectant wipes also shot up by 455 percent.

Data shows a spike in the number of people shopping when the outbreak began, in the days before the lockdown was imposed – although there wasn't as much of the panic buying seen in the UK and Australia.

Data shows shopping trips fell by 85 percent in Italy in March. Graph. Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Report.

While sales of pasta and rice doubled in the first weeks of the outbreak, and olive oil rose by 35 percent, people were stocking up less on these items by the end of the month – though more of each was still being sold than usual.

And there are reports of a “boom” in online grocery shopping in Italy, where it was previously almost unheard of. Online orders have risen by 81 percent under lockdown.

Italian authorities continue to urge people to abandon their usual habit of shopping daily, and to instead stock up just once a week.

READ ALSO: 'We're stressed out': Supermarket workers in Italy fear exposure to coronavirus

Only one person per family is supposed to visit the shops, and many regional authorities or individual supermarkets now require all customers to wear masks.

The national government has said supermarkets, food shops and pharmacies will remain open as normal in Italy throughout the lockdown.

Many local authorities around Italy have ordered supermarkets to close over Easter, fearing that crowds of shoppers will descend over the holidays.


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