In 2020, we saw our normal flipped upside down as COVID-19 sent shockwaves throughout the world. As we struggled within our communities to establish a new normal, our credit and debit cards also struggled to keep up with some truly pandemic-inspired purchases. Granted, we are still dealing with an ongoing pandemic. But with the new year came a new wave of purging. Here’s what a lot of us couldn’t wait to get our hands on in 2020, whereas today we barely give them a second thought.
First up, we have toilet paper. The comically large stockpiles of toilet paper many of us loaded up on has understandably created more than a few pandemic-inspired memes. In 2020, the demand for toilet paper skyrocketed 845%. At one point, it was the most purchased grocery store item in the U.S. (via Insider). As the pandemic continues on and the fear of not having enough TP subsides, a lot of us have gone back to purchasing a standard pack instead of the mega packages commonly found at club stores. After all, there are surely plenty of rolls left over from 2020 just waiting to be used in many of our cupboards.
Plant-based meals have taken off this year
The second product we have in our that’s-so-2020 shopping cart is packaged meat. At the height of lockdown in 2020, many of us chose to use our homebound evenings to bust out the recipe book and perfect the creation of a comforting meal. We’re talking hearty spaghetti Bolognese, grandma’s meatloaf, and pizza with extra sausage. All delicious? Absolutely! Though this year, the trends for more meatless meals and the rising growth of veganism have left many of us skipping the meat aisle in our grocery store completely.
The third and fourth items that topped our shopping lists in 2020 were immunity boosters and disposable wipes — understandably so, considering the germ and disease chatter was on full volume in our homes and in the media. It left many of us with the constant urge to wash our hands and give our homes a spring clean scrub on the daily. Disposable wipes were a convenient weapon for many months. But after finding out they are not biodegradable and are clogging our landfills (via Cheapism), consumers appear geared to slow down their usage and get back to reusable washcloths.
Airborne has flown away from our thoughts
Immunity boosters such as Airborne also felt like the appropriate item to have in our medicine cabinets in 2020. The product contains vitamins and minerals and is geared toward boosting immunity. It all sounds like the perfect anti-COVID cocktail of ingredients and, in theory, is a great idea. But today, we are more skeptical of the product’s claims, as researchers at Ohio State University point out there is no scientific evidence that Airborne can prevent or cure a cold (via Cheapism).
The final item on our great shopping list of 2020 was a bike. The sales of adult leisure bikes more than doubled in many places in 2020 (via BBC). We’re thrilled for the sudden increase in sales of this healthy transportation option, although it’s hard to believe a decline in demand isn’t coming. Especially considering a lot of the bikes that were purchased in 2020 and recorded as a part of that year’s sales have yet to make their way to their new owners.
Last year certainly showed us that we as consumers made some purchases that felt very “necessary” in the moment. Only time will tell what this year tempts us into buying.
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