Company Updates

Total Eclipse of the Cart: How America Shops When the Sun Goes Dark

Instacart

Instacart

Mar 28, 2024

On April 8th, several American cities across Texas to Maine will witness the biggest light in the solar system turn off for up to about 4 minutes. The next time this will happen in the continental U.S. isn’t until 2044, so we at Instacart didn’t want to miss the chance to answer the question: how does America shop when the sun goes dark? 

The Official Celestial Snack

There’s no question that people are curious about something as rare as a total solar eclipse – even through the lens of groceries and home essentials! Searches on Instacart for the word “eclipse” jumped by over 1,400% on the day of the last one that went through the U.S. on August 21, 2017*. And that’s not all, searches for some very specific items significantly spiked:

Turns out Instacart customers were looking for the perfect celestial snack to go along with the eclipse, with searches for “moon pie” more than 2,000% higher than its yearly average, and searches for “black and white cookie” over 100% higher than its yearly average.

“Food plays such an important role in how we mark special moments – whether for holidays, sporting events or cultural moments – so it makes sense that people are looking for the perfectly themed snack to add some whimsy and joy to their eclipse viewing experience,” says Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert. “You heard it here first – the official snack of the solar eclipse is Moon Pies!”

Looking at the entire year for these terms really brings the trends out into the sun:

So get outside and go check out the eclipse – with your Moon Pie in hand, of course! 

* Methodology: Instacart calculated the rate of searches that contained the word “eclipse” on Monday, August 21, 2017, and compared it to the average rate over the four prior Mondays.

Instacart

Instacart

Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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