In 2015, only 7% of shoppers reported ordering groceries online within the previous 30 days; by 2022, half of online food shoppers said they shop online every two weeks or more, FMI–The Food Industry Association reported in its latest U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends–Navigating a Hybrid World report.
Taking a deeper dive into the hybrid shopper—consumers who grocery shop both in-store and online—FMI reported that the expanding food retail marketplace has prompted new habits for shoppers who have embraced hybrid options and integrated them into their routines.
“The recent wave of online shopping adoption and the growing variety of online methods may represent the most dramatic upheaval of the food shopping landscape we once knew,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, in a release. “Still, despite shoppers embrace of online grocery shopping, the in-person experience is here to stay. Food is deeply personal, and many shoppers still prefer shopping in person.”
FMI reported that 62% of online-reliant shoppers believe online shopping saves more time than in-person shopping, while 40% say online is better than in-person at helping them discover new products.
And when it comes to product quality, nearly half of shoppers (43%) believe they get better quality products when they shop in-store vs. 17% who believe the same about online shopping. Even those who shop online at least some of the time said 70% of their grocery trips are done in-person.
“Online shopping has completely changed the food shopping landscape,” FMI said.
FMI also reported new data on social media’s growing influence on shopping. More than half (59%) participate in one or more food-related activities on social media, while 29% use social medial to gain ideas of what to cook and eat. And 45% of online shoppers say they enjoy grocery shopping as opposed to 27% who don’t shop online. FMI said the data suggests that hybrid shoppers want convenience, value, selection and engagement.
“The expansion of hybrid shopping presents retailers with a variety of exciting opportunities to engage with consumers in new and different ways by improving and streamlining the online shopping experience,” FMI said.
Shoppers also indicated to FMI that their pandemic fears are easing but inflationary impacts persist. FMI found that more than half (59%) of shoppers reported spending more on groceries than a year ago and that 85% are concerned about access to food.