According to market researchers, the big time of buying hamsters is over in Germany. The first panic after the Corona outbreak has subsided. “There is a getting used to the crisis mode,” says retail expert Robert Kecskes from the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK).
According to GfK, the hamster purchases had started in the last week of February. The demand for hand disinfectants suddenly increased by more than 500 percent. Sales of flour, rice, pasta, soap and toilet paper doubled. However, according to GfK, the situation has gradually been easing since mid-March. Demand is beginning to level off again – albeit at a noticeably higher level than before the crisis.
According to Kecskes, the increase is largely due to the shift in consumption that used to be attributed to restaurants, pubs and canteens to one’s own four walls. “We eat more at home because we can no longer go to the Italians,” says the market researcher. This can be seen with pasta and rice, but also with lemonade, beer or coffee.
Kecskes emphasizes that dealing with the crisis has become routine for many consumers. However, he does not rule out a temporary return of panic buying. “The panic can flare up again and again,” he says – for example when new developments should cause additional uncertainty.