Nearly one month after the existence of the easily transmissible Omicron variant was officially reported to the World Health Organization, retail sales in the Home Health Testing category are growing extremely quickly across the U.S.
According to shopper intelligence leader Catalina, for the latest week ending Dec. 18 sales of self-testing COVID-19 kits have shot up by 225% compared to six weeks ago, and by 71% vs. the week ending Dec. 11.
While COVID-19 self-testing kits did not exist before April 2021, the Home Health Testing category – which includes face masks – was up 370% for the week ending Dec. 18, 2021 vs. the same period a year ago, as the global pandemic continued to spread. When comparing purchase data to the same period two years ago, well before COVID-19 gained widespread awareness, category sales are up a whopping 1,442%.
With scientists continuing to make the case for face masks helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as the Delta and Omicron variants, face mask sales have climbed 20 percent over the past six weeks. Even so, sales of face masks for the week ending Dec. 18 are down 25% vs. the same period a year ago as COVID-related restrictions have eased in business and social settings.
“To get an idea of the scale of COVID-19 home testing kits, out of nowhere they now make up 84% of the overall category, with face masks and all other home health testing kits each making up 8%,” said Catalina’s Chief Marketing Officer Marta Cyhan. “With more people now opting to take COVID tests at home before attending a social function, we anticipate sales in this category will continue to skyrocket in anticipation of gathering with family and friends for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.”