Last updated on October 6th, 2014 at 03:10 pm
While American consumers have traditionally viewed grocery shopping as a mundane chore, new research from Acosta Sales & Marketing, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry, reveals most shoppers now like to grocery shop. According to Acosta’s latest “The Why? Behind the Buy” report released last week, 54 percent of total U.S. shoppers say they enjoy grocery shopping, up from 41 percent in 2011. Acosta’s research provides new insight on how this trend varies between shopper segments, how specific shopper behaviors continue to evolve and how CPG brands and manufacturers can expand market share.
The Why? Behind the Buy shows marked increases in shopper enjoyment within specific ethnic and age groups, with 72 percent of Asian-Americans, 67 percent of African-Americans, 66 percent of Hispanics and 64 percent of Millennials reporting they like to grocery shop. Among all U.S. consumers who enjoy shopping, shoppers are driven by the thrill of the hunt: 40 percent like finding new products to try, 38 percent like looking for the best deals/sale items and 25 percent like browsing the aisle for products.
“It’s extremely encouraging for the grocery industry to see that consumers are shopping with renewed enthusiasm,” said Colin Stewart, SVP at Acosta. “Shopper engagement, combined with improving economic conditions and increased consumer confidence, is giving way to an improved environment for CPGs and retailers to build brand loyalty, introduce new products and grow their business.”
The Why? Behind the Buy also reveals new details on the rapid evolution of shopping and eating habits:
Shopper spending is up. Monthly grocery spending has increased, likely due to inflation, as sales volume remains sluggish.
• Shoppers report spending an average of $318.70 per month on groceries—the highest figure since Acosta began the survey in 2009—compared to$288.70 a year ago.
• Spending on food prepared outside the home has increased significantly—shoppers report spending an average of $123.70 per month compared to $101 last year.
Snacking is on the rise. The growth of snack food categories is outpacing growth of traditional meal products as fewer people eat three square meals a day.
• Nearly seven in 10 consumers who snack have eaten a snack in place of a meal at least once in the past month.
• Millennials are the least likely to eat three meals a day and are more likely to snack on protein/energy bars, smoothies/blended drinks and energy drinks.
Frozen foods are warming up. While frozen foods have been experiencing sales declines, there may be a brighter future with younger generations.
• Thirty percent of Millennials and 21 percent of Gen X shoppers report they have purchased more frozen foods in the past year.
• Twenty-one percent of Millennials and 17 percent of Gen X shoppers reported shopping new frozen food categories in the past year.
• Sixteen percent of Millennial shoppers expect to spend more on frozen foods in the next year, citing convenience and shelf-life benefits of frozen items.
• Digital grocery technology is growing. The explosion of smartphone and tablet use is reshaping grocery shopping.
• Twenty-seven percent of shoppers review a store’s digital circular before shopping.
• Seventeen percent of shoppers use a shopping list on a mobile device while shopping.
• Twenty-two percent of shoppers log into store loyalty programs/update points/trip information after shopping.
The Why? Behind The Buy report was produced with research using a nationally representative random sample of U.S. shoppers via Acosta’s proprietary ShopperF1rst online survey in spring 2014.
Go here to access the full report and actionable solutions for brands and retailers.