Grocery Trends from FMI survey

The Lempert Report
July 21, 2014

American consumers were interviewed to shed light on shopper behavior and attitudes.

In a recent FMI annual survey, American consumers were interviewed in their home and while shopping to shed light on shopper behavior and attitudes.  In this rapidly changing industry several key trends were found, here are a few highlights:

Firstly, shoppers “channel surf”.  Meaning, more than ever,  there is a "diversification of the primary store as a touchstone of shopper behavior".  Shoppers are taking advantage of the several options out there when it comes to food.  While certain supermarkets may still trump others due to location and convenience, more and more shoppers are exploring what’s on offer. According to the report, shoppers use on average 2.5 different channels at least “fairly often”. 

The survey also shows us that shopping is not just for females. According to the report, these days shopping duties are much more likely to be split, with men now accounting for more than 40% of primary shoppers.

Research also showed that there is a generational transformation in what “planning” means to food shoppers. Shoppers aged 50+ tend to plan for what they need during the week. But on the other hand, the millennial generation for example, are much more spontaneous. 25% of all meals consumed by twenty-something’s include items purchased that same day.  

Health and wellness continues to emerge as a central guiding point for today’s eating habits. One of the many outcomes of this is that the vast majority of adults, 92% believe eating at home is healthier than eating out. 

 Finally, the report shows an opening for food retailers to become trusted allies in helping shoppers navigate food and wellness. According to data, 43% of all shoppers view their primary store as an ally in supporting their overall health & wellness. 

This report offers a lot of useful data for supermarkets. When it comes to planning for the future and trying to capture customer attention, brick and mortar stores will need to engage a wider consumer base (whether that's by deals, tips, meal suggestions, rewards), while also developing their position as a trusted source when it comes to healthy food and wellness.