With grocery prices on the rise, in-store, deal-seeking shoppers are on the rise as well, according to industry experts. This is in contrast to online grocery sales in the U.S., which were down 3.8% year over year in April to $8.1 billion, Barrington, Ill.-based Brick Meets Click reported.
In its lates report, data intelligence company Morning Consult also found a declining frequency of online grocery orders amid rising inflation.
“Among high-income households, weekly online grocery ordering fell from 29% in October 2021 to 18% in April 2022. Among millennials and urbanites, that share dropped 7 percentage points, while a 9-point drop was seen among parents with kids under 18 at home,” Morning Consult reported.
Instead, more shoppers are shopping in stores. Morning Consult said one of the reasons for this is coronavirus concerns are lessening.
“In October, roughly 4 in 10 U.S. adults still said they were ‘very’ concerned about the coronavirus outbreak,” Morning Consult said. “By the end of April, that share had declined to 26%. But the share saying they feel comfortable going to a grocery store has not experienced the same magnitude of change: Consumers have been relatively comfortable grocery shopping for quite some time. Around 8 in 10 said they were comfortable in October, and that ticked up to 85% by the end of May.”
Grocery item shortages and e-commerce fees are also driving in-person shopping as almost 50% of shoppers claim they are at least somewhat uncomfortable with their finances.
“More than 6 in 10 consumers reported shortages of grocery items in April, which can translate to the hassle of missing items or unwanted substitutions in online orders,” Morning Consult reported. It also noted that with ongoing economic uncertainty, consumers are looking to save on delivery or service fees.
Austin, Texas-based Top Data, in its study found that “as pandemic restrictions continue to ease, many people are ready to make up for lost time by flocking back to shopping for things they’ve been putting off,” the report said.
And when it comes to grocery shopping in person, FMI–The Food Industry Association, which last month published its 2022 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report in partnership with The Hartman Group, found that despite the challenges endured during the pandemic, shoppers still enjoy grocery shopping.
“Food shopping may be a household ‘responsibility,’ but, like cooking, it shares aspects of leisure and enjoyment for many Americans engaged with food. While 19% say ‘it is a chore,’ 4 in 10 (39%) grocery shoppers say they either ‘like’ or ‘love’ the experience,” the FMI report said.