Comfort Purchases & Pent-Up Demand: Exploring pandemic spending

(NBC News) Despite a year-long global pandemic, Americans continue to spend money.  What they’re spending that money on, however, has changed.

A recent survey by found more than half of Americans made a comfort purchase in the past year.

The most popular of those was groceries.

“Nine out of 10 people said that fresh food makes them happy,” says Deloitte’s Barb Renner. “Many of the grocery stores were running out of some of their fresh food, and then the consumers have to look at where there are alternatives that were acceptable to have.”

Renner says the first meal of the day has changed more than the other two.

“People used to stop at a coffee shop get their coffee, get their breakfast sandwich or something else, and now that has shifted to more at home,” she says.

While signs suggest the pandemic may be waning,’s Lauren Silbert many Americans now hope to change their spending again.

“People are really wishing they could get out of their house right now.  Twenty-eight percent on restaurants 27 percent on travel, so they’re really neck and neck of like what people want to do when this is all over,” she notes.

And if you’re out to dinner or on a trip, you will need something to wear.

“Twenty percent of our respondents said they want to splurge on clothes and shoes when this is over, and I think part of that is because you probably feel a little bit guilty for spending money on that stuff while you’re home,” Silbert says.

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Categories: COVID-19, Featured, Money