In 2004, Walmart began using predictive technology, and looked at sales data from recent hurricanes, to determine what customers want to purchase most leading up to a storm.
What they found out was not at all what you might expect. You might think that the number one items people would pick-up first would be, bread or water. What people are actually getting is beer and Strawberry Pop-Tarts, according to the research Walmart had done.
Walmart reported that, sales of Pop-Tarts increased seven times their normal sales rate, ahead of Hurricane Harvey. They also reported that beer was their top-selling item before the hurricane.
These items are so in demand, that prior to Hurricane Frances in 2004, the company sent extra truckloads to stores in the hurricane's path. The move paid off in profit when the additional product sold out quickly.
They came to the conclusion, that Pop-Tarts were so popular before large storms because, they require no heating, can be used at any meal, and last for an extended period of time.
This point is valid and makes sense, but I can't help but wonder two things: Is there no other non-perishable item other than Pop-Tarts that could be a better alternative? Also, I wonder what it would be like to live off Pop-Tarts and beer for a week plus?
So in the future, if you're ever preparing for a hurricane, remember this: Get to the store quick before all the Pop-Tarts run out.