Sales of chocolate bars, ice-cream and coffee pods are all on the rise, while hairspray, lipstick and razor sales have declined, new figures show.

Consumer pandemic spending habits have been revealed in data collected from supermarkets and pharmacies, by RTÉ News.

The surge in demand for home baking products is continuing as Covid restrictions remain in place. Retailer Lidl says flour sales are currently 200% above normal levels, but demand has reduced since the first lockdown when flour sales surged by 300%. 

It appears that New Year's resolutions may have taken a back seat this year too; the sale of large chocolate bars at Supervalu is up 60%, and despite the cool weather the Irish retailer says ice-cream sales are up 40% in recent weeks. 

Aldi is also seeing increased demand for treats, with crisp sales up 60% and microwave popcorn sales up by more than one third. 

Tesco has also seen a surge in demand for some products. Tesco customers are buying 45% more coffee pods than they did this time last year, as people get their caffeine boost at home rather than in work or on the road.

But Tesco has seen some signs that people may be cutting back in January, the retail giant has seen a 40% increase in sales in non-alcoholic drinks. 

Retailers are all reporting the usual January increase in fruit and vegetable sales as people start the year off on a more healthy footing.

Meat and fish sales are up and Lidl says that the sale of premium cuts of beef in particular has increased as people give themselves a treat at home.

Lidl has also seen a 200% increase in the sale of multivitamins, with Vitamin D sales accounting for a large volume of that spike following claims that Vitamin D can help fight off the worst effects of Covid-19. 

The pandemic also seems to have changed the way we groom. Boots is reporting a fall-off in the sale of shampoo and men's razors.

Boots also says that hairspray and the sales of lipstick and other cosmetics has dropped. But the chain says people are buying more luxury bathing and showering products. Some supermarkets have also reported a decline in the sale of men's deodorant. 

Significant change in the drugs customers are being prescribed

Pharmacies also say that they have seen major changes in the kind of prescription drugs they are selling.

Meaghers Pharmacy, which has stores all over Dublin and runs a popular website, has seen significant changes in the kind of drugs customers are being prescribed.

Meaghers say there has been a 50% decrease in antibiotic use. They have also recorded a 40% drop in medicines prescribed to treat sexually transmitted diseases.

But, reflecting how people are struggling to deal with the lockdown, there has been a 30% increase in antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines and sleeping tablets. 

The head of the Meaghers Pharmacy Group has said that the pandemic has changed consumers for the better too. 

Oonagh O'Hagan says her staff have seen a huge increase in the number of people sending gift boxes to friends and family.

"The really positive thing out of this pandemic is that people are thinking about other people and not just themselves, they want people who are struggling to receive some treats, something personal. Whenever we see those scenes of the hospitals on television suddenly our online offers going out to hospitals and to the frontline peak, we see online gift volumes increase from 10% of our business up to 50 or 60%."

Meaghers, like many other outlets, have also seen an increase in demand for hair touch-up products. Many people are trying to avoid using box hair dyes as hairdressers warn about the damage to their hair after the last prolonged closure of hairdressers.

Spray touch-up products are in high demand with many outlets experiencing shortages.

People are also shopping less in supermarkets and filling their trollies when they do. The rush on loo roll and other products seen during the first lockdowns has not been repeated.

No panic buying during this lockdown

Consumers seem to have a confidence that the supply chain is robust and shortages won't occur. The industry constantly advises people not to change their shopping habits or stockpile as it can have a really negative impact on the ability refill empty shelves.

The Buying Director with Lidl, Kevin Haverty is responsible for making sure the supermarket chain adapts to consumer demands and keeps product flowing.

He says this latest phase of restrictions is very different to the last ones. 

"The panic buying element has not been there, because people have been through it a few times; who could forget the rush on toilet roll and non-perishable foods like pasta. 

"Consumer confidence is there now that the whole industry will be able to meet demand. We are seeing new trends though, people are really missing that trip to a restaurant and they are now looking to treat themselves or indulge at dinner, there is an increased demand for our premium beef cuts and deluxe ranges."

Retail sales increased by 14.3% in December when compared to November after the temporary reopening of large parts of the economy last month according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office.

Sales of clothing, footwear and textiles soared by 160.9%, while Furniture and Lighting sales jumped by 63.5%.

Sales in department stores increased by 42.6% and car sales were up 26.8%, while fuel sales rose by 11.1%.