Grocery Shopping

Grocery Shopping Statistics

Explore an extensive compilation of grocery shopping statistics from 2012 to present about how consumers interact with their grocery providers.

Making Grocery Lists

Chart: How Pinterest Inspires Women

Thirty percent of those surveyed from the entire and Meredith pool reported using Pinterest at least once a week. 

Three-quarters of them use Pinterest as a source of inspiration for trying new meal ideas. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Chart: Mothers' Top Recipe Sources

A September 2012 study by Fleishman-Hillard and The Motherhood Inc. indicated that websites were king in terms of recipe sources US mothers accessed.

However, Pinterest was not far behind. Seventy-eight percent of US mom internet users surveyed who looked for recipes online or off went to websites vs. 66% who said they’d used Pinterest. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Table: Research Sources Prior To Online Purchase

A 2012 Compete survey found that retail websites were more commonly used for product research than search engines, online ads, online reviews, retail emails and a wide variety of other information sources before consumers made online purchases of grocery products.

Finding Grocery Stores

Local search incidence is very high across 11 product and service categories, according to an October 2012 report from YP, conducted by Immr and in collaboration with Street Fight. 4 in 10 respondents use local search once a day, and two-thirds use local search at least 3-4 times a week.

Use is lowest in the grocery category, used by 61% of respondents, but the category is the most common among purchasers. Fully 96% of respondents had made a grocery purchase in the previous year. 

In the grocery category, the highest use was finding listings (reported by 35% of grocery consumers), followed by hours of operation (34%).

According to a 2012 survey conducted by Perception Research Services International, respondents who were responsible for at least half of their household’s grocery shopping, were generally less likely to use QR codes to obtain product reviews (42%), loyalty rewards (40%), or to find a store’s location (29%).

Grocery Shopping Frequency

Latinx Families Make More Grocery Shopping Trips

Chart: Latinx Families Make More Grocery Shopping Trips

The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing and youngest segment of the US population. As such, according to a new eMarketer report, “Hispanic Grocery Shoppers: The Digital Habits of a Highly Social Demographic,” Hispanics are a key target for growth among CPG brand marketers.

Add to that, Hispanics do more grocery shopping than the average US shopper, according to an August 2012 survey from Acosta Sales & Marketing and Univision Communications.

Once in-store, they spend 20% more during routine grocery shopping trips.
Read the rest at eMarketer.

Grocery Coupons

Grocery Coupon Use

Chart: Grocery Coupon Use

Mothers are active seekers of coupons and other money-saving offers. In an era when technology puts guidance from fellow mothers at her fingertips, a mother will often be indifferent to the boasts of a brand or store.

But she does welcome—and seek—marketers’ offers of money-saving deals, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mothers as Bargain Hunters: Using Old and New Means to Get the Most for Their Money.”

Couponing is certainly the norm among mothers. In December 2013 polling, over seven in 10 mothers said they used “coupons I have clipped” when at the grocery store, and more than one-third used the store’s printed flyer/coupon book. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Chart: Online Behaviors That Influence Grocery Shopping

In the Spring 2013 Acosta survey titled “The Why? Behind The Buy,” 28% of grocery shoppers indicated they regularly print a coupon from a website before, during or after their grocery shopping trips, up from 24% in the Fall of 2012.

More consumers were also signing up to get future emails from a product manufacturer or store (21% vs. 17%), loading coupons onto their shopper cards from a website (19% vs. 14%), and signing up for texts and emails that provide coupons they can print out (17% vs. 13%), among others.

That was part of an overall trend towards greater use of digital technology to assist with grocery shopping. Between 2012 and 2013, the percentage of respondents regularly using social networking to plan their shopping trip or decide which products to buy grew from 11% to 14%, as did those using a mobile application (from 9% to 11%). Read the rest at MarketingCharts.

Char: Shopping Habits Of CPG eCoupon Users

Digital coupon users – particularly heavy users – shop more often than the average shopper, and spend more heavily when they do, details in 2012 research conducted by GfK.

The study looked at 120 campaigns which ran a digital coupon on during 2012, representing a cross-section of CPG categories, and compared the shopping behavior of digital coupon redeemers with the behavior of 2.3 million households in the GfK Knowledge Networks database.

Digital coupon users were found to spend 13% more per grocery shopping trip than the average shopper ($53.14 vs. $47.01) and 42% more annually ($4,295 vs. $3,035).

Heavy digital coupon users were even more active consumers. They spent 50% more than the average shopper per trip ($70.38 vs. $47.01), which combined with their 35% higher number of annual trips (88 vs. 65), led to them spending more than twice as much in annual dollars per household ($6,206 vs. $3.035). Read the rest at MarketingCharts.

2013 survey [PDF] from RadiumOne looks at the different ways in which women aged 35-54 used coupons on their mobile devices for household purchases.

Among the findings, more than 6 in 10 redeemed grocery and consumer retail goods-based coupons. Of those, less than one-quarter preferred scanning-based methods, according to the report, with a slight majority preferring to display the coupon to a cashier, and 42% preferring SMS-based coupons.

The study also revealed that 36% find push notifications of mobile coupon offers useful, while less than 3 in 10 preferred barcode-scan mobile coupons. The report also revealed that behind groceries and retail goods, food and drink coupons are the most frequently redeemed by this demographic. 

Social Sharing Of Grocery Store Daily Deals

Chart: Social Sharing Of Grocery Store Daily Deals

36% of subscribers had used a social network to recommend a daily deal for food or a grocery store promotion, according to a 2012 Constant Contact survey.

Grocery Brands

Why People Try New Grocery Brands

Chart: Why People Try New Grocery Brands

When grocery shopping in a retail store, US consumers are most likely to buy something new or different from usual if it’s on sale for a good price (56%) or if they have a coupon (50%), finds Nielsen, although almost half will do so out of an urge to try something new.

Interestingly, recommendations from friends, ads, and attention-grabbing packaging are all par in terms of driving new brand decisions, per the report.

Grocery Shoppers Prefer Branded Products

Chart: Preference for Branded CPG Products by Income

Branded products still account for the bulk of consumer packaged goods (CPG) purchases across all income groups, a September 2012 report from Nielsen found.

And the variance among income levels is relatively minor. For the 52-week period ending in late February 2012, and using dry grocery edible goods as an example:

  • Branded products represented 83% of unit sales to upper-income households (100k+),
  • 79% to middle-income households ($30k-$100k),
  • and 76% to lower-income households (<$30k). 

The same correlation between household income and national brand preference holds true for two other edible categories, frozen and dairy.

Unit sales of branded frozen edibles hovered around 77% for all economic strata, though branded products represents just 63% of dairy unit sales to upper-income households, 58% to middle income and 55% to lower-income households.

Or Do They?

Generational differences abound in grocery shopping behavior, revealed Acosta Sales & Marketing in a 2013 report. The study indicated that younger shoppers tend to be less loyal to brands:

  • 42% of Millennials (born between 1982 and the early 2000s) said they were buying more store brands to save money,
  • A figure that drops to 36% among Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and
  • Just 26% of Silents (born between 1925 and 1945).

Although they make the most number of routine shopping shopping trips per month (4.1 on average), Millennials have the smallest average monthly grocery spend.

At $252.60 per month, Millennials trail Silents ($263.70) and Baby Boomers ($295.50) in average monthly grocery spend, with Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1981) spending easily the most ($323.10). Read the rest at Marketing Charts.

Chart: In-Store Marketing Tactics' Influence On Grocery Brand Decisions

More than half of consumers decide on which products they’ll buy at the grocery store before they leave their homes, according to 2013 data released by Information Resources Inc. (IRI).

However, the survey results indicate that in-store marketing tactics still sway some. 48% of respondents indicate that shopper loyalty card discounts influence their final brand decisions, while 44% say the same about in-store circulars.

More than one-quarter of consumers said their brand decisions are affected by signs and displays in the store.

In-store kiosks and in-store touch screen digital displays are perceived to be an influence by fewer consumers, at 10% and 4%, respectively. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.

Chart: Grocery Store Brand Purchases by Generation

Half Of Dad’s Are The Household’s Grocery Shopper

Chart: Fathers' Household Responsiblities

Dads display distinctive patterns of shopping behavior as they increase their purchasing in traditionally female-skewing product categories.

About half of dads said they were mostly or always the household member responsible for grocery shopping, according to a February 2012 survey from The Parenting Group and public relations company Edelman.

More than four in 10 claimed to be the household’s chief cook. 

Another survey reveals 52% of fathers claiming they are primarily responsible for grocery purchasing decisions, with just 10% saying the responsibility belongs fully to someone else, according to results from a Cone Communications survey released in June 2012.

And while mothers may not necessarily agree (83% claim primary responsibility), 35% admit that fathers are exerting more influence now over product purchases.

Even so, fathers who claim primary responsibility for household grocery shopping appear to need a healthy amount of input from others.

72% say they receive either moderate (38%) or a lot (34%) of input. Just 47% of mothers who say they are primarily responsible for grocery shopping report the same level of outside input. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.

The Grocery Shopping Experience

Chart: Consumer Ratings Of Industries And Sectors

The grocery industry enjoyed the third-best net perception among US adults in 2016, according to Gallup, with 36% viewing it favorably. Read the rest at

According to a 2017 Gallup survey on industry perception, the grocery industry enjoyed a +43 rating. The net perception ratings are determined by taking the percentage of respondents with a positive overall view of the industry and subtracting from that the percentage with a negative view. 

A 2013 study of 246 companies by the Temkin Group found that grocery store chains on average were rated as “good” on the Temkin Experience Rating scale.

To quantify customer experience, the researchers asked consumers to rate companies on a 7-point scale across the functional, accessible, and emotional aspects of their experiences.

Smartphones are most likely to be used for store-related shopping when the customer is close to or at the point of making a purchase, rather than as a passive shopping device.

More than 60% of mobile shoppers use their smartphones while in a store, and another 50% while on their way to a store, according to Deloitte’s 2012 report, “The Dawn of Mobile Influence,” reports Marketing Charts. Deloitte developed a metric called the “mobile influence factor,” which measures the percentage of traditional in-store sales being influenced by mobile devices, versus by straight dollar figures.

A 2012 report from Microsoft, “Mobile in the Consumer Journey,” found that one-third of average consumers use their mobile phones to compare grocery prices, both in-store and during planning, a figure that rises to 71% among savvy smartphone users.

Online Grocery Shopping Activities

Mobile Grocery Shopping App Obstacles

Chart: Mobile Grocery Shopping App Obstacles

An April 2014 study by digital shopper marketing firm Catalina found that 62% of mobile shoppers were extremely or very likely to use digital coupons in the future—twice the percentage of respondents who said they had used more than 31 digitally delivered coupons in the past six months.

Offers aside, there are other aspects of mobile that shoppers find useful. Catapult Marketing’s latest digital shopper research found that consumers increasingly valued the tools mobile offered shoppers for groceries, personal care, and wine and spirits.

Augmented reality—the ability to make logos and other facets of packaging interactive—was the most helpful tool, growing from 32% to 53% between 2012 and 2013. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Mobile Content That Influences Grocery Decisions

Chart: Mobile Content That Influences Grocery Decisions

In 2013, grocery brands were especially interested in testing mobile efforts as a way to connect with the consumer closer to the point of purchase.

Mobile allows that connection, giving brands the opportunity to go directly to consumers while they stroll the grocery store aisle. A September 2013 study by mobile technology company Ninth Decimal (formerly JiWire) found that in-store, grocery shoppers were most receptive to messages that offered discounts:

  • 28% said that receiving a coupon was the biggest influencer of purchases, while
  • 20% said notification of an item on sale would prompt a purchase.
  • Advertising—without any sort of offer—influenced just 15% of shoppers. 

Read the rest at eMarketer.

Incentives That Prompt Online Grocery Shopping

Table: Incentives That Prompt Online Grocery Shopping by Generation

While CPG brands have invested millions of dollars in creating robust brand sites and digital marketing campaigns—all in the interest of engaging loyal buyers—pushing the buy button is not happening as frequently in the CPG category as others.

One reason is that this button isn’t available in many cases, especially on brand sites, which are not prepared to deal with the issues of fulfillment and shipping.

Even when the option exists, the cost of shipping, premium prices and the wait for delivery can all disincentivize online shoppers. And these are not generation-specific issues.

Better prices, free shipping and same-day service matter equally to MillennialsGeneration X and Baby Boomers, according to a February 2012 survey by Integrated Marketing Services. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Chart: Online Grocery Shopping Activities

49% of more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries around the world surveyed in Q1 2012 said they had bought a grocery product online in the previous month, per results from a Nielsen study released in August 2012.

The internet also counted as a resource for 61% of respondents to conduct grocery shopping research, such as checking prices and reading consumers reviews.

The internet’s influence on grocery shopping extends to other activities, too. 45% used the internet to get information about a product, 43% to search for deals, and one-third to read a grocery retailer’s promotional circular/flyer and look for coupons. 18% provided feedback through social media, and 11% used a digital shopping list. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.

Chart: What Grocery Shoppers Buy Online

Field Agent surveyed US online grocery shoppers in August 2018 after they made a minimum $30 purchase either for delivery or pickup.

Fully 63% had bought center store groceries during that shopping session. Dairy and eggs (38%), meat (29%) and fresh produce (29%) had lower purchase levels.

But it doesn’t appear that center store groceries are being bought online at the same rate as in-store. There was a gap when comparing behavior between online and in-store grocery shoppers.

For example, toilet paper was the leading product bought by all shoppers, but there was a 22-percentage-point difference between in-store and online.

Chart: Demographics Of Online Grocery Shoppers

2017 survey data from Gallup explores the demographic groups who are most likely to be shopping for groceries online.

Overall, 9% of adults report ordering groceries online for pickup or delivery on at least a monthly basis.

How Millennials & Boomers Use Mobile For Grocery Shopping

Chart: How Millennials & Boomers Use Mobile For Grocery Shopping

Millennials’ grocery shopping habits are a mixed bag, according to a 2012 eMarketer report, “Millennials in Aisle 2.0: Keeping Young Supermarket Shoppers Engaged with Brands.”

The weekly stock-up shopping trip is falling by the wayside as young adult consumers mix trips to farmers’ markets and specialty food stores with grocery buys at mass retailers, drug stores and, increasingly, online retailers.

Female Smartphone Grocery Shopping Activities

Chart: Female Smartphone Grocery Shopping Activities

Nearly half of women reported using their smartphone more often while grocery shopping, and of those, 47% said they were doing so because apps were easy and quick to use in-store.

Moreover, 36% said they sometimes used mobile apps to help decide what items to purchase for a meal. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Parents’ Grocery Information Sources

Chart: Parents' Grocery Information Sources

Targeting dads is worth the effort since dads really have taken on more of the household shopping—even if it’s not as much as they suppose. Untraditional though they may feel in some respects, dads often rely on old-fangled marketing channels to inform their grocery decisions.

In a May 2012 survey from Cone Communications, in-store promotions topped the ranking of sources dads cited as influential. The catchall category “advertising” and traditional media were also high on the list of responses. 

The COVID 19 Grocery Shopping Experience

Chart: Grocery Store Omnichannel Services

Mobile shopping, grocery delivery and curbside pickup were rising trends well before the pandemic hit our shores. COVID 19 has only accelerated those trends.

Table: Digital Purchase Delivery Methods

According to July 2020 research from CommerceNext and CassarCo Strategy and Analytics, 43% of US internet users said they tried curbside pickup for the first time during the pandemic, while slightly fewer (27%) said they picked up a digital order in-store.

Adoption of click and collect is also evidenced in our bimonthly ecommerce survey conducted by Bizrate Insights.

In February, 18% of digital buyers in the US reported picking up their digital purchases at physical stores. Fast-forward to June, and that figure increased to 22%. Similarly, the response rate for curbside pickup increased from 7% to 22% during the same period.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving consumers to buy online and pickup in-store.

The online grocery shopping category overall saw a 100% increase in daily online sales between March 13 and March 15, while BOPIS has seen a surge with a 62% year-over-year increase between February 24 and March 21.

Mobile Grocery Store Payments

Chart: Types Of Purchases Made With Apple Pay

In August 2015 polling by Wristly, 80% of Apple Watch owners were using Apple Pay. That’s up to five times the rate of Apple Pay usage among iPhone owners more broadly—and a quarter of Wristly respondents who had used Apple Pay said they had tried it for the first time on their Apple Watch.

Those who were using Apple Pay were most likely to be incorporating the service into their everyday lives.

Four in five said they used it for everyday shopping activities, like going to the grocery store. Read the rest at eMarketer.

Grocery Store Loyalty

Chart: Retail Customer Loyalty By Category

A frequent customer is not always a loyal one, says Cardlytics in a 2014 study [PDF] based on a “whole-wallet” analysis of transaction records held by consumers’ banks for nearly 70% of US households.

The research indicates that customers who frequently visit specific retailers tend to be heavy category spenders, meaning that they also frequently visit other retailers in the same category.

Instead, true loyalty is often the domain of “light customers,” who make fewer trips to stores but typically shop at the same ones.

Eighty-one percent of grocery store customers visit the same store most of the time. Read the rest at Marketing Charts.

Grocery Store Loyalty Programs

One-quarter of grocery shoppers worldwide report that retailer loyalty reward programs have had a major impact on their purchases in the prior 12 months, while an additional 44% report a small impact, per results  of an August 2012 report from Nielsen.

Other “store service” factors that have impacted consumer choices by at least a small amount include new retail stores opening in the area (67%) and self-service checkouts (64%). 

3 in 5 respondents – hailing from 56 countries around the world – say that grocery shopping online has had an impact on their decisions, including 24% who say it has had a major impact. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.

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