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Sarasin Outlines Grocery Trends 2011

Last updated on September 7th, 2012 at 11:04 am

The Shelby Report’s editor, Lorrie Griffith, and Terrie Ellerbee, associate editor, are in Dallas attending Future Connect 2011. We are posting articles live from the conference.

By Lorrie Griffith/editor

FMI Future Connect 2011

DALLAS–Trust was a key theme in remarks made by Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), covering the results from the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2011 survey conducted earlier this year.

The Trends report found that 88 percent of consumers trust the safety of food at the supermarket in 2011, the highest level in seven years. These shoppers are completely or somewhat confident in its safety. Consumers also believe that supermarkets are not as responsible for food safety as growers/processors, manufacturers and the government are. More than half believe they are responsible themselves for the safety of their food.

Consumers are more trusting of food grown in the U.S. or Canada vs. other countries. A full 97 percent of shoppers are very or somewhat comfortable with U.S.-grown food.

The survey also revealed that shoppers are satisfied with their primary store, rating it 8.4 points out of 10—its highest level in many years. Nine in 10 shoppers visit a full-service supermarket at least once a month. The number is 60 percent for supercenters and 27 percent for warehouse clubs, showing that a larger percentage of shoppers trust their shopping to their local full-service grocery store. Ninety-five percent of these shoppers would recommend their primary store to someone else as well.

Sarasin also noted that shoppers under heavy economic stress are appreciative of retailers’ efforts to keep prices down. They reward these retailers, spending an average of $97.30 a week on groceries in 2011—more than three-quarters of this at their primary store.

Supermarkets offer ingredients and products that allow them to serve healthier, more affordable meals to their families, 90 percent of the shoppers surveyed believe.

“Trust is a key ingredient in creating and cultivating store loyalty with customers,” Sarasin told the large audience gathered at the Hilton Anatole May 10.

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