Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the shopping for groceries market including shopping for groceries market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the shopping for groceries market in the US.

Current market landscape

Shopping for groceries is becoming more of a shared activity in Black households, with Black men aged 35-54 seeing the strongest growth in purchase responsibility from 2019-22. This represents a new cohort of shoppers that brands can welcome into the fold and guide choice.

Value is important for most shoppers, especially during a period of price inflation. It plays an especially strong role among Black adults, some of whom remain at an employment deficit following pandemic job losses and whose household income trails the average. However, embracing the wider definition of value, including convenience and pleasure, will be key in appealing to this group. Black shoppers are slightly more likely to select their food and drink retailer of choice based on which carries the products they like, rather than the one that offers the lowest prices.

While traditional supermarkets lead as the single most often visited store type, the largest share of Black shoppers shop for food and drink at mass merchandisers with any frequency. Older shoppers (55+) exhibit loyalty to traditional supermarkets and younger shoppers (18-34s) show strong interest in discount grocers and dollar stores.

Market share and key industry trends

  • 95% of Black adults have some responsibility for grocery purchase. The task is becoming more of a shared endeavor, with 33% of Black adults sharing the responsibility (up from 30% in 2019), and the share of those claiming sole responsibility dropping from 65% to 62%. Moms and those who split work time on-site and at home are the most likely sole shoppers, while men aged 35- 54 have entered the fray.
  • 40% of Black grocery shoppers do so once weekly, making it the most popular shopping frequency. Groups that shop with greater frequency (ie multiple times per week) include men aged 35-54 (35%) and parents (33%). Frequency also correlates with household size. Nearly half (47%) of hybrid workers shop multiple times per week, perhaps owing to a variable schedule that leads to more impulse shopping.
  • The largest share of Black grocery shoppers (46%) visit two stores in a regular shopping trip, including online retailers. A substantial 33% visit three or more locations. While in-store shopping continues to dominate channel choice, with 48% of Black grocery shoppers doing all their shopping in-store, 52% shop online with some frequency

Future market trends in shopping for groceries

Half of Black grocery shoppers do so both in-store and online, with the online channel seeing substantial stickiness and a path toward further growth. Among online shoppers, those who are interested in continuing to do so far outweigh those who aren’t. In total, 70% of Black shoppers express interest in grocery shopping online, including those who have done it previously and those who have yet to.

Read on to discover more about the shopping for groceries consumer market, read our US Black Consumers: Feeding the Family Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other African American Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Understanding the Black grocery shopper: responsibility, store type shopped and frequency of grocery shopping.
  • Channels used and interest in online grocery shopping.
  • Factors considered when choosing a grocery retailer.
  • Attitudes toward grocery shopping.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Instacart, Fresh Funds, Flashfood, Target, 7eleven, The Rounds, Kroger, Quaker, JD’s Vegan, Bitsy’s, TikTok, Facebook, .

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Carol Wong-Li, a leading analyst in the Consumers and Culture sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While inflationary pricing has most consumers prioritizing cost savings, Black consumers will be especially strong targets for value messaging. However, value will be better received as ‘getting more for your money,’ including help with health goals, making shoppers feel seen and understood, and providing an enjoyable and engaging shopping experience, rather than ‘cheapest option.’

Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director Lifestyles and Leisure
Carol Wong-Li
Director, Consumers and Culture

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways 
    • Market overview 
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Growth in shared shopping responsibility provides opportunity to capture new shoppers
      • Figure 1: Grocery shopping responsibility, 2019-22
      • Figure 2: Change in grocery shopping responsibility – “I share the responsibility for purchasing groceries,” by gender and age, 2019-22
    • Double down on grocery shopping enjoyment
      • Figure 3: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – enjoyment (any agree), by gender and age, 2022
    • Selection can be a differentiator
      • Figure 4: Select reasons for selecting retailer shopped most often, by gender and age, 2022
    • Black-owned brands carry strong appeal
      • Figure 5: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – Traditional supermarkets (any agree), by age, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Black Americans by the Numbers

    • Black population projected to increase by 4% from 2022-27
      • Figure 6: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2017-27
      • Figure 7: Black population, by age, 2016-26
    • A quarter of Black Americans are Millennials
      • Figure 8: Black population, by generation, 2022
    • Largest share of Black households earns less than $25K annually
      • Figure 9: Household income distribution, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2020
      • Figure 10: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2020
    • Black households are among some of the smallest in size
      • Figure 11: Average number of people per household, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 12: Households with related children under 18 in the household, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2021
  4. Market Factors

    • Inflationary pricing will favor spend on food at home
      • Figure 13: Changes in consumer price indexes for food, 2020 through 2023
      • Figure 14: Methods for saving money on food and drink, 2019-22
    • Unemployment starts to creep back up from 50-year low
      • Figure 15: Unemployment, 2020-22
  5. Current Opportunities and Strategies

    • Meeting the needs of Black Americans through the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
    • Groceries as goals
      • Figure 16: Areas of wellness focus, by age and gender, 2022
      • Figure 17: Instacart Health Instagram post, 2022
    • Meeting the needs of Black Americans through the lens of the Value Trend Driver
    • Groceries as opportunity
      • Figure 18: Flashfood Instagram post, 2022
    • Meeting the needs of Black Americans through the lens of the Rights Trend Driver
    • Groceries as identity
      • Figure 19: Influence of heritage, by gender and age, 2022
      • Figure 20: Understanding Black culture, 2022
      • Figure 21: Target Instagram post, 2022
    • Meeting the needs of Black Americans through the lens of the Experiences Trend Driver
    • Groceries as leisure
      • Figure 22: Technology interest – any interest, by race, 2022
      • Figure 23: 7Collection, 2022
  6. Black Grocery Shoppers: Fast Facts

  7. Grocery Shopping Responsibility

    • Black households largely put the onus of shopping in one person’s hands
      • Figure 24: Grocery shopping responsibility, 2022
    • …but shared responsibility is increasing
      • Figure 25: Grocery shopping responsibility, 2019-22
      • Figure 26: Change in grocery shopping responsibility – “I share the responsibility for purchasing groceries,” by gender and age, 2019-22
    • Moms and hybrid workers are most likely to be primary grocery shoppers
      • Figure 27: Grocery shopping responsibility, by demographics, 2022
  8. Grocery Shopping Frequency

    • A quarter of Black grocery shoppers do so multiple times per week
      • Figure 28: Frequency of grocery shopping trips, 2022
    • A third of Black men age 35-54 shop multiple times per week
      • Figure 29: Frequency of grocery shopping trips, by gender and age, 2022
    • Nearly half of hybrid workers shop multiple times per week
      • Figure 30: Frequency of grocery shopping trips, by work location, 2022
  9. Grocery Channels Shopped

    • Majority of Black grocery shoppers visit multiple stores for typical trip
      • Figure 31: Number of stores shopped, 2022
      • Figure 32: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – selection (any agree), 2022
    • Young men willing to shop around, older shoppers prefer fewer stops
      • Figure 33: Number of stores shopped, by gender and age, 2022
    • Half of households with five or more people shop at three or more stores
      • Figure 34: Number of stores shopped, by household size, 2022
      • Figure 35: The Rounds Instagram post, 2022
    • Half of Black shoppers do so both in-store and online
      • Figure 36: Grocery channels shopped, 2022
    • Most online shoppers want to continue doing so
      • Figure 37: Interest and usage of online grocery shopping, 2022
    • Women are more likely to shop online
      • Figure 38: Grocery channels shopped, by gender and age, 2022
      • Figure 39: Boost by Kroger Plus Instagram post, 2022
    • Online channels help large households
      • Figure 40: Grocery channels shopped, by household size, 2022
      • Figure 41: Quaker Chewy Instagram post, 2022
    • Rural Black Americans are most eager to try online shopping
      • Figure 42: Interest and usage of online grocery shopping, by area, 2022
  10. Store Types Shopped

    • Majority of Black shoppers do so at mass, traditional supermarkets remain popular
      • Figure 43: Store types shopped, 2022
    • Traditional supermarkets could hold ground with Black-owned brands
      • Figure 44: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – traditional supermarkets and selection (any agree), 2022
      • Figure 45: JD’s Vegan Instagram post, 2022
      • Figure 46: Bitsy’s Instagram post, 2022
    • Older shoppers favor supermarkets, discounters resonate with young adults
      • Figure 47: Store types shopped (any rank), by gender and age, 2022
    • Variety could help traditional supermarkets pick up younger shoppers
      • Figure 48: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – traditional supermarkets and selection (any agree), by age, 2022
    • Traditional supermarkets are preferred for fresh items
      • Figure 49: Store types shopped for various food items, 2022
  11. Reasons for Selecting Retailer Shopped Most Often

    • Proximity trumps all, but selection can be a differentiator
      • Figure 50: Reasons for selecting retailer shopped most often, 2022
    • Convenience wins with women
      • Figure 51: Reasons for selecting retailer shopped most often, by gender, 2022
    • Customer service important to online shoppers
      • Figure 52: Reasons for selecting retailer shopped most often, by channels shopped, 2022
  12. Attitudes Toward Grocery Shopping

    • Enjoyment
    • Grocery shopping widely seen as enjoyable, make it so
      • Figure 53: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – enjoyment (any agree), 2022
    • Young shoppers enjoy it most, online channels must boost fun among young men
      • Figure 54: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – enjoyment (any agree), by gender and age, 2022
    • Online
    • Freshness perceptions hamstring online shopping
      • Figure 55: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – online (any agree), 2022
    • Delivery fees deter young women, middle-aged women worry about freshness
      • Figure 56: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – online (any agree), by gender and age, 2022
    • Influences
    • Brands can tap into social media influence to reach under 35s
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – influences (any agree), 2022
      • Figure 58: Attitudes toward grocery shopping – influences (any agree), by age, 2022
      • Figure 59: Lizzo’s Instacart Instagram post, 2022
  13. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms

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