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Acosta’s Latest’ The Why? Behind The Buy’: Conscious And Healthy Eating Is In, Stocking Pantries Is Out


Acosta, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry, has released the 12th edition of “The Why? Behind The Buy” report, analyzing how Americans grocery shop and what drives their purchase decisions. The latest edition of the report found that shoppers are increasingly conscious about their food choices, stocking their pantries less and willing to spend slightly more money and time to make healthy meals.

“Today’s shopper is more educated and hyper-aware of the connection between eating well and overall health for themselves and their families,” said Colin Stewart, SVP at Acosta. “As consumers shift their focus to cooking healthy meals at home, it’s important that brands and retailers appeal to these behaviors and continue to educate them about origins of food and healthier options.”

The “Why? Behind The Buy” reveals:

Shoppers are willing to spend more for healthier food options. Whether it’s organic, natural or locally sourced, consumers, especially parents, are seeking these types of groceries for their home-cooked meals and are prepared to pay more for them.

• Forty-four percent of U.S. shoppers say they eat healthy foods even though they’re more expensive; significantly higher than the 39 percent of shoppers who agreed with that statement in the spring 2014 study; this figure jumps to 51 percent for shoppers who have children at home.

• Shoppers with children spend an average of $385.20 per month on groceries, compared to an average of just $287.80 spent monthly on groceries by shoppers without kids.

• Forty-one percent of shoppers with children and 32 percent of total U.S. shoppers expect their monthly grocery budget to increase in the next year.

• Shoppers indicated that on a typical shopping trip 22 percent of their grocery items are considered organic products while shoppers with children indicated that an average of 28 percent of their grocery items are considered organic.

Keeping pantries fully stocked is a thing of the past. While shoppers replace items they run out of and need, shoppers are increasingly less likely to stockpile items, even those items they use frequently.

• Seventy percent of U.S. shoppers say they stock up on certain items because they were on sale; a 10 percent point decrease from 2012.

Consumers prefer homemade meals. With an increased focus on healthy eating and choosing healthier food options, there is a growing interest in eating meals at home.

• Eighty-six percent of U.S. shoppers reported eating dinner at home four or more days in the past week, with 37 percent eating dinner at home all seven days.

• Fifty-nine percent of U.S. shoppers say they are cooking more frequently at home, and 68 percent of shoppers with children.

Male shopper influence is growing. Male grocery shoppers, especially dads, are shopping more and having more impact on grocery shopping behaviors than ever before as a result of a shift in generational and economic factors.

• Dad shoppers spend significantly more on monthly grocery trips ($383.70) as compared to total U.S. shoppers ($320.70) and male shoppers without kids ($277.30).

• Twenty-three percent of dad shoppers indicated that they are making more routine shopping trips as compared to last year.

• Forty-eight percent of dad shoppers indicated they are comfortable using digital/online tools to assist with grocery shopping.

“The Why? Behind The Buy” was produced with research using a nationally representative random sample of U.S. shoppers via Acosta’s proprietary ShopperF1rst online survey methodology in May. Go here to access the full report.

About the author


Kristen Cloud

A former newspaper editor and publisher, she once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, she is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.

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