All summer long on the East End, analysts were collecting data on consumer consumption. Why? So it could be analyzed and used in steering important economic decisions prior to the start of next year’s tourist season. How valuable is this information? More than you can imagine.
None of this really makes any difference to the majority of us who live here year round. We simply adjust our lives to the expectation that each summer there’s going to be an invasion of people who seek to experience all that the East End has to offer. Their buying habits are the last thing on our minds.
However, this type of information can be of significant value to local merchants. For instance, knowing that chocolate ice cream consumption was up 6.8 percent this past summer and vanilla was down 4.2 percent would provide an advantage when it comes to inventory control for local grocers and ice cream vendors.
The fact that East End hamburger consumption increased only 1.2 percent over last year but that chicken consumption was up a whopping 8.2 percent reflects a trend that can’t been ignored.
While hard liquor sales remained fairly constant, wine consumption skyrocketed this season. What this says to the local vineyards is “plant more grapes.”
The analysts also reported a significant increase in the number of Hamptons weddings this year. Surprisingly, the most common themed wedding color was yellow. Also, it has been noted that lemon wedding cake edged out traditional vanilla for the top spot.
Disposable diaper usage was way up this year. That points to the assumption that next year’s returning crop of visitors will most likely include many toddlers. Accordingly, tailoring products for this age segment would be strongly recommended.
Speaking of children, home pregnancy tests were flying off the shelves this summer, with 38% positive readings being reported. It’s obvious that people were keeping “busy.”
Hair salons should take note that there was an uptick in the use of women’s self-coloring hair products, with the colors Auburn and Purple getting significant attention in the summer of 2013.
Sunscreen use was down 2.1 percent, but that could be attributed to the lack of sun over the Labor Day weekend. Conversely, the sale of umbrellas rose by 4.4 percent.
Pizza delivery was up and pepperoni is still the topping of preference. Cereal purchases tended to be of the more healthy grainy variety this year, and there was also an increase in the sale of energy bars.
Local farmers will be glad to know that there was an appreciable increase in the consumption of fresh vegetables, with the exception of rutabagas, which remained constant.
One curious anomaly in the report was that microwave burrito sales increased by 400 percent.
These are just some of the findings. Taking stock of this kind of information can be very useful in contributing to the economic prosperity of all East End merchants. So, how and where can you get the analyst’s report? It’s easy—just ask the guy who works the back of the big truck that stops by your house a couple times a week. Also known as your local garbage collector, he knows exactly what’s being consumed by the packaging and waste that was being disposed of all summer.
Perhaps we should get all the East End garbage collectors and merchants together and hold an economic summit? It can be sponsored by the chambers of commerce. They can serve chocolate ice cream, chicken and wine.
P.S. Those of us who have worked so tirelessly to promote responsible stewardship of our natural resources will be happy to know that it has been reported that the use of disposable plastic bags on the East End was down by a huge margin over past years.