Since March 4th when the Spanish government declared the start of alarm, Spain has witnessed a drastic rise in the sales of alcoholic products. On one hand, the quest for toilet paper has steadied while products like olive, potato chips, chocolate, ice cream and anchovies have witnessed a rise in demand. In this accord, it seems like Spaniards have chosen to set up bars and cake shops as a means of coping with the lockdown situation. 

A research by Asedas (Spanish Association of Distributors, self-service stores and Supermarket) has seen an increase in the sales of beer by 77.65 %, wine by 62.7% and alcoholic drinks by 36.58%, as related to the previous weeks. Felipe Medina, SG of Asedas, said that the shopper had reduced the number of visits in return, increasing the size of each person purchase.

If I can’t go out shopping, or to the cinema or dinner, what am I going to do? decries a 30years old shopper, Claudia, resident of Lavapies -Madrid. 

“From Monday to Thursday we have a beer around 8.30 pm and from Friday to Sunday we have some vermouth and spirits as we video chat with friends.” Claudia and Raúl attested.  

Again, Julian Ribald, director of an online wine store in Livinia also stated that; “We are seeing numbers as though it were Christmas,” 

“We have detected a small change: if our wines are normally bought in the €15 to €20 range, now it is in the €8 and €15 range with brands such as Finca Res also, Viña Real Crianza, Luis Cañas Crianza,” he added.  

However, psychologists have given their views as to why purchasers have exchanged toilet paper for wine and other alcoholic products as well as chocolate, potato chips etc during the first two weeks of the state of alarm.

In an attempt to explain this, Carmelo Vazquez, a professor of Psychopathology at Madrid University, revealed that “this reflects the ability to give ourselves rewards and treats in these times.” 

The professor declared that “Despite the widespread thinking that everything is going badly, people are extraordinarily resilient,”. 

“Back then, the studies [following the terrorist attacks] showed us that the level of post-traumatic stress did not reach 7%. Now there is a lot of preparatory alarm, but people are handling it very well. One of the phases is exactly that: drink beer, alcohol and eat potato chips. This has a therapeutic effect. The consumption of alcohol and candy increases endorphins, which happens in high moments of stress.” He revealed. 

Furthermore, a clinical psychologist, Olya Castanyer equally relates the increase in the demand of beer to high levels of stress amidst the COVID 19 lockdown and acknowledges that she likewise “meets up to have some beers with friends on Skype.” “You don’t eat steak when you are stressed. What the body wants is sugar and fat,” she reveals. “When we are locked up, our brains ask us for a prize: like chocolate, candy or simply beer. We are used to living according to certain standards and we have never seen the one we are in. That’s why it’s good to continue the social customs of before: a glass of wine at home, olives, the Mediterranean culture.” she added. 

However, this belief is supported by Josep Lobera, a sociologist at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Lobera stated that “You have to take a good look at the data. The consumption of lime flower tea and chocolate reduces anxiety. Others manage it with alcohol or video games. They are all different forms of escape,” he affirms. 

 Nonetheless, Vázquez predicts different peaks in the days ahead as he claims that everything in shopping vehicles only distinguishes scarcity from abundance. “There will be different peaks. Anchovies and potato chips will be replaced by other products” he insisted. “It’s very hard to tell what will happen in the days ahead, but we ought to highlight the solidarity that we are seeing like the activities at home and the things that have automatically begun” he concluded. 

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