Sales numbers for toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic are staggering.
Demand spiked 845% when the pandemic was officially declared in the U.S. as Americans stocked up in the face of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
The “panic buying” strained the supply. According to Business Insider, product sales spiked, leading to 1.45 billion in sales in a single month.
From March 2 to May 2, toilet paper sales were up 71% across the U.S., making it the most-purchased item at grocery stores. It’s entirely possible that sales would have continued at the record-breaking clip—if it hadn’t been for empty shelves.
The U.S. wasn’t the only country scrambling for TP. Business Insider reported that Norway, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia each saw a run on toilet paper.
The unprecedented demand led to changes in how companies are operating–and those appeared to work. While 73$% of grocery stores were out of toilet paper in March, that number dropped to 48% in May, according to Business Insider.