Surprising items that have become super popular in lockdown

From bidets to spiral hams, the most surprising items that have become super popular in lockdown



Retail sales have taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, but some unexpected items are flying off the shelves. As Americans invest in staying at home, sales of essential goods like hand soap and toilet paper have spiked, as well as work from home products such as computer monitors and office chairs. But what are the most surprising items that have become hot commodities during COVID-19 lockdown?



JIGSAW PUZZLES


After stocking up on food and consumable products, shoppers turned to board games and other ageless forms of entertainment to whittle away the time and boredom of lockdown. The humble jigsaw puzzle is one of the items that has seen a surge in sales, with puzzle maker Ravensburger reporting a 370 percent increase in sales in March.



BIDETS


Not every consumer goods category is losing out during the pandemic, with household essentials and cleaning products on everyone’s must-have lists. But one surprisingly popular item has been the bidet — according to Slickdeals, searches for bidets have been up 304 percent over the last month, as people look for alternatives to highly sought-after toilet paper.



SEWING MACHINES


Knitting and sewing have emerged as popular hobbies for those seeking a different way to pass time — and sewing machines in particular have surged in popularity as people begin to make their own cloth face masks. In fact, Walmart has reported a 74 percent increase in online sales thanks to DIY shoppers. Knitting supplies have also seen a sales spike, with retailer We Are Knitters reporting a 270 percent increase in the U.S. in March, according to Vogue Business.



SEEDS


There has been a huge surge in demand for seeds, as people look to grow their own vegetables in lockdown. In an interview with the BBC, the owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri, said: "The biggest day we've had in our 22-year history was Monday, March 30. We had over 10,000 orders, up 10 times on what our normal would be. It was totally overwhelming."



KOMBUCHA


During lockdown, it hasn’t been surprising to see spikes in sales of essentials such as water and milk. But what is surprising is the increase in demand for the sweet, fermented tea drink kombucha, which is commonly consumed for its supposed health benefits. According to Business Insider, kombucha sales jumped 25.9 percent during the week of March 9, compared with the previous year.



SPIRAL HAMS


Another rather unusual item flying off the shelves during lockdown is spiral ham. According to Nielson data, sales of these succulent hunks of meat jumped 379.2 percent in sales compared with the past year for the week that ended April 11.



PET TREATS


It’s not just people treating themselves through lockdown - treats for pets have also become more popular. Data from Kount shows that the transaction volume of pet supplies increased 711 percent the week of April 19, compared with the same week last year. And according to Criteo, dog toy sales were also up 167 percent in mid-March compared with the sales averages during the first four weeks of the year.



HAIR DYE


With salons closed, people across the country have been forced to take a DIY approach to hair care. Nielsen research shows that hair color sales are up almost 25 percent year over year with some retailers claiming dwindling supply of the product , and many retailers have reported run low on stocks.



YEAST


As the reality of a long lockdown started to set in, Americans turned to baked goods for comfort. Yeast, a vital ingredient in most bread recipes, has been flying off grocery store shelves. According to CNN, the week ending March 21, saw yeast sales grow more than any other consumer packaged goods product, up 647 percent over the same week in 2019.



NAIL POLISH


Another surprising lockdown result is a spike in nail polish sales, as customers turn to DIY beauty. Nails Inc. said its e-commerce sales in the U.S. increased 571 percent between March and April, compared with the previous year.



WATER FILTERS


In the rush to stockpile essential goods ahead of the coronavirus lockdown, bottled water became a much sought-after commodity. When water bottles weren't available, however, Americans turned to water filtration products, such as those sold by San Francisco-based company Hydros. According to Forbes, the company saw a 150 percent spike in water filtration sales between March and April.



POPCORN


One surprisingly popular comfort item which Americans have been shopping for during lockdown is popcorn, with Nielson reporting a 30.5 percent sales increase compared with the previous year during the week that ended April 11.



BEAUTY PRODUCTS


People may not have been able to socialize outside of their homes, but many still want to look their best during lockdown. According to Vogue Business, beauty brands have seen a rather surprising boost in Amazon sales during the pandemic, showing that self-care has blossomed while shops such as Sephora and Ulta remain closed.

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