By Krissy Gasbarre
Source: Eat This, Not That!

Raise your hand if the pandemic has shifted your spending, eating, and nutrition habits over the past year. Some changes in your grocery shopping may feel subtle, but industry insiders have tracked some clear trends that show just how much American kitchens have in common these days… plus, how focused we’ve all been on protecting our health.

Recently, Progressive Grocer reported on a 12-month, nationally representative survey by the consumer behavior-tracking company, NCSolutions, which collected data from over 2,000 respondents. According to the survey, there are five major grocery items “related to managing physical and emotional health” that a lot of Americans now keep a constant supply of in their kitchens.

What follows are the top five most popular groceries in America right now, and throughout the pandemic, according to the survey. Chances are good you’ll see yourself in a few of these pandemic grocery shopping patterns. And for more, make sure to avoid buying these unhealthiest foods on the planet.

5. Vitamins and Supplements

supplements and vitamins


Showing up fifth on the list were vitamins and supplements, with 54% of the 2,017 respondents saying they make sure they always have a supply. Check out the two supplements that lower heart disease risk, and the vitamin doctors are urging everyone to take right now.

4. Baking Ingredients

baking soda

If there’s any good news about a lockdown, it’s the smells that were wafting from 58% of U.S. kitchens this past year. It seems the extra time at home (and the importance of sitting tight there) gave plenty of households the time—and the appetite—to keep baking ingredients in abundant supply in time for the next homemade craving to strike.

If you run out of an ingredient during the pandemic—or anytime—check out our 24 clever ingredient swaps for when you’re elbows-deep in a favorite recipe, but need a substitute.

3. Snack Foods

snack aisle

With so many of us at home around the clock (including the little ones who needed breaks between home-schooling lessons), maybe it’s no wonder that 58% of respondents said snack foods have been a pantry necessity for the past year. If all the snacking has finally caught up and you’re feeling ready for a reset, check out Giada de Laurentiis’s three-day slimdown plan.

2. Proteins


A strong majority of households—that’s 63%—have kept the fridge and freezer stocked with proteins like chicken, eggs, beef, and fish. No matter which meal you’re cooking, check out the one (easy!) ingredient everyone’s adding to scrambled eggs.

1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

fruit vegetables

This is what we like to see. Even though lots of shoppers have wondered when they’d make it to the store again, that didn’t stop 63% from making sure they were stocked up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Why is this such a wise move? Check out our recent report on how eating more plants truly might reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, according to science.

Even with all these discoveries, the biggest grocery trend from last year was beyond all of these. Read to see if you bought any of the foods that skyrocketed in sales during the pandemic.