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Instacart Report Looks At Pandemic Effects On Consumer Grocery Habits


Instacart, an online grocery platform, has released “Beyond the Cart: A Year of Essential Insights,” a new report highlighting how the pandemic has transformed 100 years of grocery habits through the lens of six trends from the past year that are shaping the future of online grocery shopping.

The report combines an in-depth look at data from Instacart along with insights from a new Instacart survey of 2,038 U.S. adults conducted recently online by The Harris Poll.

“More than a year of pandemic living has dramatically reshaped how American households shop for groceries and other household essentials,” said Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s trends expert and senior product manager. “As we analyzed 12 months of data from Instacart, we discovered that the pandemic has driven seismic demographic shifts in who is using online grocery, altered daily and weekly shopping rhythms, set off a wave of customer gratitude for the Instacart shopper community and more. As the world inches toward normality, it appears that many of the new habits formed in the midst of the pandemic may actually be driving a permanent shift in how consumers shop.” 

In the report, Instacart analysts looked to search, purchase and in-app chat data to gauge the national mood and understand how familial relationships, internal clocks, household domestic roles, shopping schedules and shopping lists are shifting as the world inches toward post-pandemic life. The report explores six themes:

  • How we felt: measuring the national mood with grocery chat and emojis;
  • Welcome to the pandemic time warp;
  • Shifting domestic norms: a senior surge and help for the household CEO;
  • When we shop: mid-week multitasking challenges the Sunday shop;
  • What we are (and aren’t) buying: the pandemic personas we embraced; and
  • Post-pandemic: the future of grocery is fast.

Whether customers opt for two hours or less delivery, curbside pickup or periodic trips to the store, the future of online grocery post-pandemic will be about swiftly adapting to meet consumers’ expectations and deepening the role online grocery plays in their weekly routines.  

For more on the “Beyond the Cart: A Year of Essential Insights” report including data visualizations and full methodology, click here.


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