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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Black Consumers and Shoppings for Groceries market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Black shopper segments highlight different levels of engagement
  • Black consumers enjoy looking for deals, but less likely to use coupons
  • Walmart and supermarkets lead grocery retailing, third choice locations based on budget and convenience

Covered in this report

This report offers analysis and consumer insights on retail channels that provide groceries including mass merchandisers (eg Walmart, Target), traditional supermarkets (Kroger), warehouse clubs (eg Costco, Sam’s Club), natural supermarkets (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s), dollar stores (Family Dollar, Dollar Tree), convenience stores (eg 7-Eleven, gas-station stores) and online-only grocers (eg Amazon).


Groceries are defined as products such as food, beverages, cleaning products and household goods (eg toilet paper, garbage bags), and personal care products (eg lotions, vitamins, and pharmacy products).

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Toya Mitchell, a leading analyst in the Multicultural sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While convenience is important, grocery shopping is also a sport for most Black consumers, who are engaged in finding the best deals at the best stores. Shopper segments are based on their attitudes on convenience and further distinguished by how they balance product value between trusted brand names and price. Walmart is the leading retailer that delivers the best deals to this consumer, but competitive retailers have an opportunity to offer other means of what they consider to be valuable, in particular, high(er) quality products Toya Mitchell
Multicultural Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Market overview
          • Top takeaways
            • Key Takeaway Video
              • The insights
                • Black shopper segments highlight different levels of engagement
                  • Figure 1: Black grocery shopping segments, October 2019
                • Black consumers enjoy looking for deals, but less likely to use coupons
                  • Figure 2: Coupon source, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                • Walmart and supermarkets lead grocery retailing, third choice locations based on budget and convenience
                  • Figure 3: Preferred grocery shopping locations, by rank, October 2019
                • Price leads value proposition, but other product attributes are important based on category
                  • Figure 4: Center of the store non-edible and food/drink purchase factors, October 2019
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • Black households reflect more diverse composition vs total US
                    • Grocery spending reaches an estimated $63 billion in 2019
                      • Black grocery spending as share of disposable income is similar to total
                        • Flat food prices expected to hold through 2020, with increases in several categories
                          • Black consumers enjoy deals, but lag in coupon use
                          • The Black Population by the Numbers

                            • Black population holds steady at 44 million people
                              • Figure 5: US population by race/Hispanic origin, 2019
                            • Greater diversity in Black household structure impacts shopping responsibility
                              • Figure 6: Household type by race/Hispanic origin, 2019
                            • Same number of adults, but more children in Black families
                              • Figure 7: Average number of people per family household, by race/Hispanic origin, 2019
                            • Most Black people live in the South
                              • Figure 8: Distribution of the Black population, by census region, 2018
                              • Figure 9: Migration flow to census region by total and Black population, 2017-18
                          • Market Size

                            • Flat grocery spending belies Black shopping behavior
                              • Figure 10: Black household spending on groceries*, at current prices, 2014-19
                              • Figure 11: Black household spending on groceries*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-19
                          • Market Breakdown

                            • Black household grocery spending share on par with total for food and drink and household
                              • Figure 12: Share of Black households’ spending on groceries – by segment, indexed to all, 2019
                              • Figure 13: Black household spending on groceries*, by segment, at current prices, 2014-19
                            • Food expenditures account for two thirds of grocery spending
                              • Figure 14: Black household spending on food and drink*, at current prices, 2014-19
                              • Figure 15: Black household spending on food and drink*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-19
                            • Black consumer spending on household goods reflect home size and cleaning behavior
                              • Figure 16: Black household spending on household goods and cleaning products*, at current prices, 2014-19
                              • Figure 17: Black household spending on household goods and cleaning products*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-19
                            • Black women are buying beauty products along with other grocery items – for now
                              • Figure 18: Black household spending on HBC products*, at current prices, 2014-19
                              • Figure 19: Black household spending on HBC products*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-19
                          • Market Factors

                            • Food prices flat across categories with few exceptions
                              • Figure 20: Consumer food price indexes, 2017-20
                            • Black households’ income increases, but lower than everyone else’s
                              • Figure 21: Median household income in current dollars, by race/Hispanic origin, 2008-18
                              • Figure 22: Inflation-adjusted median weekly earnings percent change, by race/Hispanic origin, 2007 vs 2017
                          • Market Perspective

                            • Walmart, distantly followed by Kroger, top grocery store visits
                              • Figure 23: Top 15 supermarkets and food stores shopped, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                            • Convenience is important to all, but less so among Black shoppers
                              • Figure 24: Attitudes toward shopping, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                            • Brand equity and product expectations drive consideration, promotional offers drive purchase
                              • Figure 25: Shopping behavior, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                            • Lower coupon use may be tied to complicated rules and unappealing brand offers
                              • Figure 26: Coupon usage, by type, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                            • Black coupon users less likely to receive or be aware of offers
                              • Figure 27: Coupon source, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                          • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                            • Walmart makes changes to improve produce department
                              • Amazon enters crowded, competitive retail category with a standalone store
                              • What to Watch

                                • Walmart overhauls perimeter of store in response to negative consumer perception
                                  • Amazon set to launch new grocery chain in 2020
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • Mintel’s Black shopper segments’ highlight process and willingness to deal shop
                                      • Primary shopping responsibility mirrors the average
                                        • Walmart and supermarkets dominate for retailer preference
                                          • Deal hunting leads the grocery shopping process
                                            • Values differ between food and non-edible packaged products
                                              • Black consumers will forgo brand and store preferences to take advantage of deals
                                              • Black Grocery Shopping Segmentation

                                                • Grocery shopping attitudes span from enjoyable activity to unavoidable chore
                                                  • Figure 28: Black grocery shopping segments, October 2019
                                                • Variety Shoppers enjoy the experience
                                                  • Figure 29: Profile of Variety Shopper segment, October 2019
                                                • Traditional Shoppers have a honed shopping process
                                                  • Figure 30: Profile of the Traditional Shopper, October 2019
                                                • Chore Shoppers shop where they can find the cheapest product available
                                                  • Figure 31: Profile of the Chore Shopper, October 2019
                                              • Grocery Shopping Responsibility

                                                • Black consumers less likely to have help with grocery shopping
                                                  • Figure 32: Grocery shopping responsibility, total and Black, October 2019
                                                • Middle-aged Black women more likely to get some relief
                                                  • Figure 33: Grocery shopping responsibility, by female gender and age, total vs Black, October 2019
                                                • More single Black men have grocery shopping responsibility
                                                  • Figure 34: Grocery shopping responsibility, by male gender and age, total vs Black, October 2019
                                              • Preferred Grocery Shopping Locations

                                                • Walmart’s product mix and price beats all other grocery outlets
                                                  • Figure 35: Preferred grocery shopping locations, October 2019
                                                • Low-priced, name-brand products drive third-ranked shopping locations
                                                  • Figure 36: Preferred grocery shopping locations, by rank, October 2019
                                                • Bargain shoppers go to Walmart while supermarkets serve an aging clientele
                                                  • Figure 37: Preferred grocery shopping locations, by age and household income, October 2019
                                                • Two thirds of Black southerners shop at Walmart
                                                  • Figure 38: Preferred grocery shopping locations, by region, October 2019
                                              • Grocery Shopping Behavior

                                                • Stores with the best deals by category earn Black shoppers’ dollars
                                                  • Figure 39: Grocery shopping behavior, October 2019
                                                • Older consumers create and follow a shopping plan prior to their in-store visit
                                                  • Figure 40: Grocery shopping behavior, by gender and age, October 2019
                                                • Affluent householders plan their shopping trips based on product availability
                                                  • Figure 41: Grocery shopping behavior, by household income, October 2019
                                              • Center-of-Store Food Purchase Factors

                                                • Low prices and taste drive packaged food purchases
                                                  • Figure 42: Center-of-store food purchase factors, total vs Black, October 2019
                                                • Ingredient quality in packaged food is less important for younger Black women
                                                  • Figure 43: Center-of-store food purchase factors, by female gender and age, October 2019
                                                  • Figure 44: Center-of-store food purchase factors, by female gender and age, total and Black, October 2019
                                                • Middle-aged men place value in product expectation over price
                                                  • Figure 45: Center-of-store food purchase factors, by male gender and age, October 2019
                                                  • Figure 46: Center-of-store food purchase factors, by male gender and age, total and Black, October 2019
                                                • Affluent households more likely to buy premium packaged foods
                                                  • Figure 47: Center-of-store food purchase factors, by household income, October 2019
                                                  • Figure 48: Center-of-store food purchase factors, by household income, total and Black, October 2019
                                              • Center-of-Store Non-edible Purchase Factors

                                                • Price still rules, but brand trust more important than product attributes
                                                  • Figure 49: Center of the store non-edible purchase factors, October 2019
                                                • Household and personal goods must perform to expectations – food must taste good
                                                  • Figure 50: Center of the store non-edible and food/drink purchase factors, October 2019
                                                • Upper-middle-income households purposefully shop where they know they will find the best products
                                                  • Figure 51: Center of the store non-edible purchase factors, by household income, October 2019
                                                • Parents show concern for the kids’ exposure to household product ingredients
                                                  • Figure 52: Center of the store non-edible purchase factors, by parental status, October 2019
                                              • Attitudes toward Grocery Shopping

                                                • Getting a deal is important, even if they have to switch brands or stores
                                                  • Figure 53: Attitudes toward grocery shopping, October 2019
                                                • Enjoying the grocery shopping experience is limited to those who can afford to
                                                  • Figure 54: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – Deal Shopping, by segments, October 2019
                                                • Convenience for most is limited to getting in and out of the store
                                                  • Figure 55: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – Convenience, by segments, October 2019
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Sales data
                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                          • Terms
                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                              • Figure 56: Top 15 supermarkets and food stores shopped, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                                                              • Figure 57: Attitudes toward shopping, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                                                              • Figure 58: Shopping behavior, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                                                              • Figure 59: Coupon usage, by type, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019
                                                              • Figure 60: Coupon source, total vs Black, April 2018-June 2019

                                                          This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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                                                          • Brand/Company

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