Description

Covering shelf-stable and frozen foods—typically found in the center of the store—this report looks at the market performance of center-store groceries, and how consumers interact with this critical part of grocery shopping. Below, we summarize the key topics covered and offer handpicked insights from the report.

Key Topics Covered

  • Analysis of sales trends for shelf-stable foods and frozen foods.
  • The impact of rising prices on shopping behaviors and preferences in the center store.
  • An assessment of the center store’s strengths and weaknesses compared to the perimeter.
  • Shopper interest in a range of center-store product and promotion concepts.
  • Opportunities to make the center-store shopping experience more engaging.

US Center-Store Grocery Market Size 2023-2028

After a period of disruption, center-store grocery retail is returning to a slow-growth pattern. Volume sales decreased in both major center-store segments in 2023 as consumption returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, inflation caused dollar sales to increase. Overall, Mintel’s forecast through 2028 reflects modest growth, as shown in the full report.

The Center of Store Consumer Explored

Preference for online versus in-store grocery shopping

While most consumers still prefer to shop in-store for groceries, about half of shoppers also make some of their center-store purchases online. Perimeter/fresh items are most likely to draw shoppers into physical stores, while larger pantry top-ups are often happening online.

Consumer perceptions of center-store grocery quality

While shoppers have noticed improvements, there are still doubts about the quality of center-store groceries. Nearly three-quarters agree that fresh foods are always healthier, and more than half believe center-store groceries are too processed.

Center-Store Grocery Market Opportunity

Center-store brands have made efforts to improve quality and health perceptions by reducing or eliminating artificial ingredients and added sugar. Yet, they still lag behind perimeter brands in terms of health perceptions. Marketers and retailers can sharpen the focus on nutrients and functional/health benefits of center-store products to improve perceptions.

Find a complete analysis in the full report. You may also be interested to browse our other retail market research.

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Expert Analysis

Leading food and retail analyst John Owen delivers expert industry insights with this report.

Even as shoppers focus more narrowly on prices, the center store has the potential to drive deeper engagement and loyalty.

John Owen - Associate Director Food and Retail

 

John Owen
Associate Director – Food and Retail

Table of Contents

    • Key issues covered in this Report
  1. Executive Summary

  2. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Center store shopping methods
    • Graph 1: center-store and perimeter shopping methods, 2023
    • Graph 2: center-store shopping methods, by age, 2023
    • Center-store purchase factors
    • Graph 3: center-store purchase factors, 2023
    • Graph 4: center-store purchase factors, by age, 2023
    • Correspondence analysis: center-store and perimeter departments
    • Center-store shopping behaviors
    • Graph 5: center-store shopping behaviors, 2023
    • Graph 6: center-store shopping behaviors, by age, 2023
    • Interest in center-store product concepts
    • Graph 7: interest in center-store product concepts, 2023
    • Graph 8: interest in center-store product concepts, by age, 2023
    • Interest in center-store promotion concepts
    • Graph 9: interest in center-store promotion concepts, by age, 2023
    • Attitudes toward the center store
    • Graph 10: attitudes toward the center store – quality, selection and health, by age, 2023
    • Graph 11: attitudes toward the center store – shopping and routine, by age, 2023
  3. Competitive Strategies

    • Opportunities
    • Graph 12: center-store shopping behaviors – switching to store brands, by household income, 2023
  4. The Market

    • Market context
    • Market drivers
    • Graph 13: assessment of personal financial situation, 2021-23
    • Graph 14: center-store shopping behaviors, by assessment of personal financial status, 2023
    • Graph 15: consumer spending percentage on food at home vs food away from home, 2023
    • Market size and forecast
    • Market segmentation
    • Graph 16: total US retail sales and forecast of center-of-the-store foods, by segment, at current prices, 2018-22
  5. Appendix

About the report

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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Data

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