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Behavioral Shift in Consumers’ Grocery Habits Online and Instore | Part 2

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Everything we know about grocery shopping has changed. The pandemic, recent news events, and inflation have impacted consumer shopping behaviors. Grocery stores had nearly cracked the code on consumer engagement, merchandising their stores to appeal to the need for community-based environments. Then Covid hit, and the consumer moved online.

No one could have predicted that online grocery shopping would gain such momentum. Nevertheless, the annual global growth of online grocery shopping has exploded at a compounded rate of 24.8% this year, with a forecasted revenue expected to exceed $1.1 trillion by 2027. A sizable leap considering that before the pandemic, only 19% of consumers had heard of, let alone shopped for groceries online. Over the last year, that number has nearly tripled. According to Coresight Research, 54.3 % of U.S. adults have purchased groceries online in the past 12 months, and 47% plan to continue doing so in the next year.

Supermarkets are not dead
Value and convenience rank highest across generations concerning grocery shopping, especially among Millennials and Gen-Z. Walmart, Target, Kroger and Costco were the most popular among the younger demographics for in-store shopping, while Walmart Online attracts Gen-X. Overall, the top three grocers in the U.S. were Walmart, Kroger and Costco. According to Numerator, Walmart held an 18% grocery market share at the end of 2021, followed by Kroger (8.8%), Costco (6.4%), Sam’s Club (3.6%) and Aldi (2.3%), respectively.

Health-conscious young shoppers who prefer cooking their meals at home are more inclined to visit groceries in-store at least three times a week for staples like fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat. Although they find stores super-crowded and are often frustrated by long checkout lines, in-store still provides a better consumer experience. Compared to bad online experiences, Millennials and Gen-Z shoppers encountered late deliveries, damaged purchases, and out-of-stock items. And surprisingly, a growing number of these shoppers –41% to be exact, find shopping for groceries in-store relaxing.

Consumers increasingly realize that grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a chore. As a result, the new grocery shopping experience should be more than just another place to spend money. It is important to remember that grocery stores remain relevant in a rapidly changing retail landscape. They will need to transform the shopping experience into an opportunity to engage and inform customers.

Consumer spending shifts

Nearly every American household spends a significant amount of its monthly budget on food. According to the USDA, the average U.S. family spends about $870 monthly on groceries. And that’s when they leverage coupons and price comparisons while shopping.

Last year, U.S. consumers spent an average of 10.3% of their annual household income on food at home (5.2 percent) and food away from home (5.1 percent). Annual food-at-home prices, impacted by inflation and product price increases, top the list with meat, fish, and fresh produce.

What consumers spend on groceries varies by region and socioeconomic status. However, most Americans’ grocery dollars go toward fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish, milk and eggs. So, where are consumers spending their grocery budget? First, let’s take a look at some of the top product categories sold in grocery stores last year:

Americans spent more than $7.5billion on hot dogs and sausages, followed by chicken and steak.

Online grocery shopping is a game changer for consumers. The convenience it offers – from the expansive selection of goods to pick from to the delivery options provided – makes this one of the most popular ways to shop for groceries. And although some consumers prefer to shop online for their groceries, the in-store shopping experience can be just as rewarding. In addition, grocery stores are havens of the community. They provide us with places to meet people and interact with others, as well as help us make healthy decisions about food. Therefore, we must consider the benefits of blending these two communities into an omnichannel solution that provides the best experience for consumers.

Do you prefer shopping in-store or online? If in-store, what’s your favorite grocery store? Please share your insights with me on LinkedIn.



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Anjee Solanki

National Director, Retail Services & Practice Groups

San Francisco

AREA OF EXPERTISE

In Anjee’s current role, as National Retail Director for the USA, she has developed strong relationships and strategic leadership to over 500 + retail professional nationally across 140 markets within Colliers for Investment Sales, Agency, Retailer Rep, and Retail Asset & Property Management.

Anjee Solanki brings 30 years of focused retail real estate experience to Colliers International.  She provides strategic retail advisory services to enhance value for her clients with her expertise in lifestyle, community, power center, neighborhood, mixed-use retail/residential, and resort retail. 

She has developed and manages strong working relationships with institutional and private clients such as State of Florida, State of Michigan, Heitman, Invesco, Grosvenor Americas, American Realty Advisors, TH Realty, PNC, and Zurich to name a few.

Her strategy identifies current market and property inefficiencies to capture untapped value through asset repositioning, releasing, redevelopment, rehabilitation, proactive management, and enhanced marketing. 

Creative problem-solving is her specialty, and she becomes a key stakeholder with national and international retailers, such as JPMC, Opry City Stage/Ole Red and Tim Hortons, and many others. Her highly focused approach reduces the risk profile and provides clients with a thoughtful approach executing strategic multi-year planning initiatives. 

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

Previously, Anjee served as Executive Vice President, Retail Services for Madison Marquette. She successfully assisted with repositioning community centers to lifestyle projects and identified opportunities to create value, resulting in higher returns for her clients. She also provided strategic analysis on complex redevelopment projects to address both the asset’s financial stabilization and/or the client’s exit strategy

BLOG

Anjee continues to be an insatiable collector of all things retail. She’s a student of culture living next door to future shoppers, whose fleeting trends constantly change the retail landscape … driving retailers, landlords and developers crazy! Read her Blog at:  https://knowledge-leader.colliers.com/author/anjee-solanki 

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Anjee is originally from Southern California and currently resides in San Francisco.  She is active in the Rincon Hill neighborhood residential improvement group, which participates in the public review of the highly anticipated Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco.
 

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