Diapers & Doritos: Do These 2022 Prime Day Trends Point to a Recession?

·9 min read
prime day top products featured - Credit: Andrey Popov/stock.adobe.com
prime day top products featured - Credit: Andrey Popov/stock.adobe.com

Amazon Prime Day 2022 has ended, capping off some of the year’s biggest savings across all categories. But this year’s Prime Day bonanza was quite different than years past — and gives some insight into how people are spending their money right now.

For starters, Prime Day 2022 was massive: Amazon reports that more than 100,000 items were purchased per minute during the sale, and that Prime members saved over $1.7 billion. The average order size was up too ($52.26 compared to $44.75 in 2021), according to Numerator.

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However, although people might have spent slightly more this year, Prime Day purchases were very different. Instead of brand-name electronics and shiny new tech products, necessities were the top sellers this year with household essentials and health & beauty being the top two categories. This meant some surprising basics popped up in the Prime Day best-sellers list, such as teeth whitening strips, food, and diapers.

Why the switch from wanted products to needed products? Likely record-breaking inflation and widespread fear of a recession in 2022. Numerator found that inflation impacted 83% of shoppers, with 65% of returning Prime Day customers saying they spent the same or less this year than they did last year. Shoppers were also less spontaneous and more calculated in the way they approached deals, with 34% saying they waited for Prime Day to purchase a specific item at a discounted price, and 28% saying they passed on a good deal because it wasn’t a necessity.

Still, some used Prime Day as shoppers have in past years, grabbing brand-name electronics and home goods they might have been eyeing for a while (i.e. Apple AirPods, video game consoles, clothing, etc.).

The Top-Selling Items Of Prime Day 2022

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the top-selling products during Prime Day 2022. We’ve included products that Rolling Stone readers purchased in bulk, as well as several items that Amazon says were the event’s big winners.

Bonus: Some Prime Day deals are still lingering, with discounts likely to continue through the week. If you see anything still on sale, be sure to scoop it up quickly.

Apple AirPods

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Apple AirPods were the most-purchased item among Rolling Stone readers during this year’s Prime Day, and it’s not hard to understand why: The best-selling headphones have become a go-to for just about everyone. Best of all, the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max still show the same discounted prices they had during Prime Day.

Buy: Apple AirPods Pro $179.99

Frito-Lay Variety Packs

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Many clever penny-pinchers used Prime Day as an opportunity to save on groceries; specifically, this Frito-Lay variety pack. It comes with eight varieties of chips, totaling 40 single-serve chip bags for packing lunches or grabbing a mid-day snack.

Buy: Frito-Lay Variety Pack $23.29

NuFace Toning Device

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

This little device — dubbed the NuFace — promises to tone and contour the face by stimulating facial muscles. And it seems to work, as shoppers bought the device in droves during Prime Day. It’s still on sale for 30% off (the same as it was on Prime Day) if you want to see what the hype is about.

Buy: NuFace Toning Device $146.30

Nintendo Switch

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

The Nintendo Switch may have come out several years ago, but many are still buying the hybrid gaming device for the first time. The nifty console allows for three different play styles (handheld, on the TV, or in “tabletop” mode), and now boasts an extensive catalog of games like Mario Kart, Zelda, Super Mario, and Animal Crossing. Stock is very low on Amazon after Prime Day, so you’ll want to grab a Switch now if you’ve been eyeing the console.

Buy: Nintendo Switch $299.99

Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is one of the best streaming devices around, with minimal hardware, an easy-to-use remote, and all the major streaming apps. The “stick” plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port, keeping your media console clear of bulky devices. The remote is equipped with Alexa, lending responsive voice controls for searching content and controlling video playback.

Buy: Fire TV Stick $39.99

 

Diapers

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Another essential that people stocked up on during Prime Day was diapers. And it’s still a good idea: This two-month supply of Pampers Swaddlers diapers costs just under $140 and removes the stress of remembering diapers every time you’re at the store.

Buy: Pampers Diapers $130.40

Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

It’s hard to have too many good containers, which is why people bought up these highly-rated bento-style lunch boxes. Plus, the five-compartment lunch boxes are still on sale for the Prime Day price of $28 each.

Buy: Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box $27.99

Apple Watch Series 7

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

Apple

Apple’s latest smartwatch, the Series 7, saw a rare discount during Prime Day, leading to a flurry of purchases. But even without the discount, it’s still one of the best pieces of tech you can get. The watch’s always-on, high-res screen shows notifications, extensive health data like heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen, lets you control your music from your wrist, and so much more. You can effectively track workouts, and the watch is pre-programmed to track specific types of exercises like lifting, kickboxing, running, and more.

Better yet, The Series 7 Apple watch is still $100 off.

Buy: Apple Watch Series 7 $398.97

Fire HD 8 Tablets

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Amazon’s highly-affordable, highly-rated HD 8 tablet got scooped up quite a bit this year. The base model delivers 32 GB of storage space, 12 hours of battery life, and a fast 2.0 GHz quad-core processor. It’s great for streaming on the go, reading Kindle books, or even making video calls.

Buy: Fire HD 8 Tablet $89.99

Beats Headphones

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Beats headphones were a big winner this year — and some models are still discounted. These top-of-the-line Beats Studio3 headphones, for example, are still 36% off, shaving $125 off the retail price. They feature noise-cancellation, an Apple W1 chip for easy connectivity, and a substantial 22-hour battery life. Plus, like all Beats, they look great and come in a few unique colorways.

Buy: Beats Studio3 Headphones $249.95

Crest 3D Whitestrips

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

As always, Prime Day 2022 was a great time to stock up on essentials. This year, it seems people needed these Crest 3D Whitestrips. The strips are applied to your teeth once a day, left for 30 minutes (while you watch TV or get some work done), and effectively remove teeth stains.

Buy: Crest 3D Whitestrips $45.99

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse Oven

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

This beloved Signature Sauteuse Oven from Le Creuset was a Prime Day best-seller, but here’s what’s odd: It’s still on sale for 20% off, and has been since April. Whatever the reason for its sales spike, we’re not surprised — it’s a great piece of kitchen gear.

Buy: Le Creuset Sauteuse Oven $239.95

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

This Laneige lip sleeping mask saw a quick “lighting sale” during Prime Day, and people (rightly) scooped it up. Endorsed by Sydney Sweeney, the cult-favorite mask hydrates and rejuvenates lips while you sleep, removing flakiness, cracks, and dry patches.

Buy: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask $24.00

Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM4 headphones — our favorite noise-cancelling headphones around — were a favorite during Prime Day this year. They’re capable of blocking out an incredible amount of outside noise, letting you focus on music, podcasts, or phone calls, and also feature voice isolation so anyone on the other line can hear you clearly. The cans also boast 30 hours of battery life — more than enough for long travel days or hours of grinding at work.

Buy: Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones $348.00

Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Another audio best-seller this year was the Bose QuietComfort earbuds. Although small, the QuietComfort ‘buds deliver some exceptional noise-cancellation powers, making them a great companion for workouts, commutes, or traveling. They also come with multiple gummy ear tips for a secure fit while you jog or play sports.

Buy: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds $279.00

Fossil Men’s Nate Stainless Steel Watches

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

The best watch deal we saw during Prime Day this year was (and still is) this Fossil Nate timepiece. It’s still marked down a whopping 69%, showcasing a handsome military-inspired stainless steel build to match both dressy and casual outfits.

Buy: Fossil Stainless Steel Watch $55.99

Amazon Smart Plugs

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Here’s a great home upgrade that people stocked up on. Amazon’s Smart Plugs turn any outlet into a “smart” one that you can control with your phone, tablet, or Alexa. This means you can do things like turn off the lights, start the coffee machine, or start up your air purifier with voice controls or a tap of the phone — even while you’re out of the house.

Buy: Amazon Smart Plug $24.99

Levi’s 505 Regular Fit Jeans

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

As pants are trending wider, savvy shoppers used Prime Day to snap up pairs of wider-fit Levi’s jeans, such as these 505s. Luckily, Levi’s jeans are still very affordable through Amazon, and you can order multiple sizes to try on at home.

Buy: Levi’s 505 Regular Fit Jeans

Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Whether you need your first Alexa device or your fifth, now is a great time to get one of the best: the Echo Dot Gen 4. It’s still discounted by 20%, and lets you check the weather, set alarms, make lists, play music, and much more — all by asking Alexa.

Buy: Echo Dot (4th Gen) $39.99

NordicTrack T Series Treadmills

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Even though gyms are back open after Covid lockdowns, people have discovered how great it is to work out at home. That’s probably why this affordable, reliable T Series treadmill from NordicTrack saw some traction during Prime Day. It lets you run up to 10 miles per hour and features easy touch controls for incline, speed, and workout selection, and it costs just $650 — less than an annual gym membership.

Buy: NordicTrack T Series Treadmills $649.00

LEGO Sets

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

LEGO sets have become a stress-relieving hobby for many adults, as well as a creative outlet for kids. Prime Day saw some great deals on LEGOs, and you can still find some discounts. This LEGO Star Wars X-Wing, for example, is still marked down 20% for a limited time, making a great purchase for LEGO enthusiasts or Star Wars fans.

Buy: LEGO Star Wars X-Wing Fighter $39.99

Ultrean Air Fryer

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

This best-selling air fryer from Ultrean is still on sale (28% off), despite some serious attention during Prime Day. The clever kitchen upgrade uses very little oil, and lets you cook fries, fried meat, and other tasty meals that you wouldn’t be able to make otherwise.

Buy: Ultrean Air Fryer $64.99

Apple AirTags

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

Apple’s tracking device, the AirTag, is one of the best ways to stop losing your keys or wallet, showing a precise location on any Apple device. One hack that’s become popular lately is putting an AirTag in your checked suitcase, so you can always find it in case the airline loses your bag.

Buy: Apple AirTag (4 Pack) $99.00

Philips Hue Smart Bulbs

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

These Hue smart bulbs from Philips allow you to control lighting from your phone or with Alexa. Unlike most regular bulbs, they’re also dimmable and color-changing, so you can set the mood accordingly — whatever the occasion. It seemed people used Prime Day to stock up, but we think they make a great purchase anytime.

Buy: Philips Hue Smart Bulbs $99.99

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