Households spend 25% to 30% more on food during lockdown
€2.5bn more spent across Spain than same period last year, according to Spanish agriculture minister
Households across Spain have consumed 4.5 million tons of food and drink from March 9 to April 26, 1 million tons more compared to the same seven weeks last year.
Spanish minister for agriculture, Luís Planas, said that this spending in the first seven weeks since the beginning of the pandemic and lockdown amounted to 11.1 billion euros, an increase of 2.5 billion euros on 2019.
Planas explained this was "evidence that Spanish citizens confined at home have consumed between 20% and 25% more food in terms of volume and between 25% and 30% more in value" than the previous year.
According to the minister, during the first two weeks there was an "accumulation" of food by people, especially products such as pasta, rice, sugar and oil.
This was followed by a more stable period where demand for such goods levelled off "thanks to supply chains working well."
During this period, he pointed out, there was "a large consumption of fresh products" and after Easter the consumption of other foods such as fresh fish recovered.
Flour consumption quadruples
The agriculture minister also revealed that flour consumption quadrupled over the entire period. This four-fold increase was first noticed during the third week of lockdown, when Planas suggested the data might indicate that people have "begun to make bread and pastries" as a "regular activity".
In April, an internal study carried out by the Catalan supermarket chain Bonpreu, which looked at the food and cleaning products most in-demand during the crisis, showed that the sale of vegetables such as zucchini or potatoes in supermarkets has grown 54% during the coronavirus lockdown, while the demand for frozen fish has skyrocketed by 151%.
The study also found that sales of fruit have gone up by 33%, while meat sales have increased by 50%, with the most demand for lamb and steak.