Surprise item doubles sales as panic buying clears shelves

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Shopping for essentials has become fraught. Photo: Getty Images

Anyone who has braved the aisles of Woolies or Coles in recent times will recognise the sinking feeling that hits when you realise the essentials you’ve come to pick up are cleaned out.

For ladies, those items include sanitary pads and tampons, which have been in short supply in many shops and were completely wiped out when panic buying first set in.

In a surprising twist, however, it seems that while items like pasta are only getting more valuable, pads and tampons may be dropping off the list of essential items altogether.

The personal care aisles have seen stock disappearing. Photos: Getty

Many women are now turning to reusable period items as alternatives to costly, disposable period goods that need replacing every month.

Period underwear and moon cups minimise waste, spending, and the need to shop at a time we are all trying to stay home as much as possible, and it looks like Aussie women have cottoned on to that fact. 

Unsurprisingly, both items have seen a dramatic increase in sales since the coronavirus pandemic first hit Aussie shores.

Retailers report the sustainable alternatives were particularly popular in the early weeks of March when panic buying first hit supermarkets, cleaning out essentials including sanitary items.

Modibodi, is a leak-proof, absorbent underwear brand designed for periods and incontinence who have reported a mammoth rise in sales and demand in Australia.

Reusable period undies have jumped in sales. Photo: Getty Images

An online company with delivery-only service, the item is quickly becoming a must-have for women settling in for a long period of social distancing.

A spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle the brand had seen a ‘huge spike’ in sales and it’s not hard to see why.

With the environmental impacts obvious, they will also save you money in a big way. 

A spokesperson explains that 5-7 pairs of Modibodi will see you through your period for two years. With standard five or seven bundle packs setting shoppers back between  $132 and $160, your period will cost you a maximum of $6 a month, and you can use the undies whenever.

You also will never find yourself suddenly out of stock, nor dependant on a busy supermarket being in stock to see you through your period.

Menstrual cups follow suit with mammoth sales

It’s not just reusable undies that are jumping off the shelves and into your mailbox, menstrual cup providers have also reported a huge jump in sales.

One Aussie supplier tells Yahoo Lifestyle her sales ‘at least doubled’ around the time the panic set in.

The good old menstrual cup is also having a moment. Photo: Getty Images

Naomi owns and operates Menstrual Cups Australia Online from her home in Tasmania, and she says she was floored by the sudden spike in interest.

“There has definitely been an increase for us,” Naomi says. “Particularly, we had a big spike about two weeks ago when all the panic buying went crazy.”

She says feedback from customers confirmed it was the empty shelves and prospect of being left with no disposable items for their next periods that lead to the sudden scramble to order something reusable.

Though sales have since steadied somewhat, Naomi says it was reassuring to notice that orders coming in seemed to be stocking up for whole families, with a variety of sizes and types suggesting everyone from mums to teenagers is getting on board this trend.

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