Retail sales value and unit quantity spiked in March 2020, then diverged as food inflation rose
The change in retail food sales value and units sold compared with 2019 shows food sales value remained higher even after stabilizing from disruptions early in the pandemic, while unit quantity sales trended toward 2019 levels, reflecting inflation. By May 7, 2023, food retail sales value was 29.6 percent above the same week in 2019, while unit sales were 0.8 percent lower. However, unit quantity sales do not capture if consumers made changes in response to rising prices, such as switching to more economical products or buying larger package sizes.
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