Grocery Stores Outpace Eating & Drinking Places

The Lempert Report
April 28, 2014

2014 is off to a strong start for grocery sales.

2014 is off to a strong start for grocery sales. During the first two months of the year, The Food Institute estimates that “real” (deflated) sales at the nation’s grocery stores rose 2.37%. Most of this increase occurred in January however. This was a month when snow and ice storms in much of the country had shoppers stocking their pantries on an ongoing basis, and purchasing emergency items, including batteries.

But even taking this into consideration and having less ‘real’ growth in February, this was considerably better than the first two months of 2013, when “real” sales were only marginally higher than the prior year. 

For eating & drinking places, the news is not nearly as positive.  On this platform “real” sales are just nudging half a percent higher. Obviously, inclement weather tempered traffic away-from-home, for which overall (not deflated) sales rose only 2.5% during both January and February.  

While these estimates are subject to ongoing revisions, indications are that grocery stores are in a strong position as people are continuing to cook at home and eat at home.