You are here
Amid countless reports on how the economy affects everyday purchases, very little has been written about how shopping patterns are tied directly to paychecks -- or more specifically, how paydays at the start and end of each month create spikes in supermarket sales. Specifically, how much of a lift can retailers expect on the first week of each month? Which categories are most likely to spike at the beginning of the month? Has the average first-of-the-month spike increased in recent years?
For related insights to these burning questions, there’s no better place to find out than Nielsen’s Strategic Planner database. While many months begin in the middle of the week, there is a clear and distinct pattern of supermarket sales spikes at the start of each month, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas, which naturally account for their own sales spikes.
After creating a dollar sales index for average weekly sales on the first week of each month vs. other weeks (excluding Nov.-Dec.), the Nielsen data-masters found that an average 4.3 percent lift, with several categories indexing much higher. In particular, categories with the strongest first-week-of-the-month spike include food staples and ingredients for cooking from scratch, with meat and seafood headlining three of the top ten items on the list.
Supermarket Products Most Likely to Sell on the First Week of the Month:
• Frozen Meat/Seafood (Unprepared)
• Baby Food
• Sugar/Sugar Substitutes
• Vegetables & Grains-Dry
• Packaged Meat
• Fresh Meat (UPC-Coded)
While the average 4.3 percent first-of-month sales lift may not seem like much, it’s just one more tool aggressive grocers and suppliers can use to fine-tune their promotion strategies, inclusive of adjusting timing for FSI drops, on-ad specials, and in-store promotions, among others.