- Shoppers are spending 37% more per grocery trip than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from marketing firm Acosta.
- The frequency of shopping has declined for many consumers, the research found. About 47% of those surveyed said they shop once a week or more, down from 67% since the pandemic started. Twenty-seven percent of shoppers say they go to the grocery store two to three times a month, and 26% go once a month or less.
- The report found that 50% of respondents are spending more on groceries than they did pre-pandemic. Of those respondents, the reasons they cited were because of eating more at home (59%), higher prices (52%) and stocking up more (50%).
The results from Acosta's survey reveal information retailers already know. Many shoppers are just as worried about about COVID-19 as they were when the outbreak began, and their shift in behavior is here to stay for a long period of time. In a statement, Acosta CEO Darian Pickett said he expects the trend of stocking up and spending more on groceries to remain popular.
To adapt, retailers have changed their in-store experiences and found new ways to attract customers, both in-person and online. Some retailers are repurposing their self-service stations, like filling salad bars and hot bars with prepared or heat-and-eat meals. Grocers have also added more pickup options, like Hy-Vee’s curbside meals-to-go. In addition, several are stocking their shelves with larger packages of popular items, while streamlining those that are in less demand. These strategies align with some of Acosta’s report recommendations, including making meal prep easy and offering bundles, kits and other meal solutions for customers.
The report also recommends grocers engage shoppers through digital and social media as well as loyalty programs. Several retailers have taken steps to do just that. Kroger, for example, kicked off a social media campaign in May called Social, Social to bring people together virtually through shared recipes and parties at home. Giant Food conducted a social campaign called #healthyathome to motivate customers with healthy challenges on a weekly basis.
As Americans brace themselves for potentially a second round of shutdowns, online grocery sales could see another spike. While in-store shopping trips have dropped because of the coronavirus, digital sales while slowing, continue to boom. According to data from Rakuten Intelligence, the dollar value growth of online grocery orders was up 200% in the first half of June, though that was a slower place than the 300% recorded in April.