It appears Greek consumers will have rice and pasta in their pantries for several months to come, while supermarket data on the sale of flour suggests they are preparing to start baking their own bread. At the same time, sales of antiseptic tissues rose about eightfold in the week when the first coronavirus cases were reported in Greece, which explains the recent shortage.
Of course such consumer behavior, as revealed by IRI Hellas researchers for the period of February 25 to March 3, is hardly an exclusively Greek phenomenon, as it is more or less the same around the world at the moment.
The 10 categories of products with the highest growth in sales over that period on an annual basis were antibacterial tissues (up 670 percent), antiseptic gels (297 percent), liquid soap (286.3 percent), legumes (187 percent), pasta (176 percent), rice (172.3 percent), ready meals (162 percent), kitchen and bathroom cleaning products (160 percent), flour (153 percent) and shower gels (123 percent). They were followed by bleach (104 percent), rubber gloves (103 percent) and tissues (98 percent).
These sales of antiseptic products do not include those made in pharmacies or department stores such as Jumbo.