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The great grocery boom is slowing down

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A shopper at a Kroger store in Atlanta looks at pork underneath a sign limiting shoppers to two packages apiece on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Kroger is limiting meat purchases, like a number of other grocery retailers, due to supply concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

As the pandemic began in the spring, consumers were hoarding groceries and household staples, driving up sales at top chains like Walmart, Costco and Kroger.

Kroger said Friday that sales at stores open for at least one year, excluding fuel, increased 14. 6% during the quarter ended August 15 versus a year ago.

Kroger said that sales dipped from mid-July to mid-August in part because of the end of federal stimulus and a reduction in food stamp benefits.

During its latest quarter ended August 1, Walmart, this country's largest grocer, said food sales increased "high single digits" from the same stretch last year.

And Costco said food sales grew in the "mid teens" in August from last year, compared with the "low-20's" in July.

Industrywide, sales growth of most grocery categories has slowed, with prepared meals, meat and cookies posting the biggest drops from earlier in the pandemic, market research firm IRI said in a report last month.

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