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What Consumers Want from Grocery Stores

Consumer desires, needs, and lifestyles are reshaping the grocery business and leading the way to next-generation grocery shopping, reported Brick Meets Click (Aug. 5).

Consumers are more selective about the products they want. Compared to 20 years ago, there are many more products to choose from and consumers are now seeking products aligning with what is important to them. Traits such as what’s in the product, where it comes from, how it was produced and how healthy it is are receiving much more focus from consumers.

Additionally, cooking choices and attitudes have changed. Many lifestyles include two working adults plus children with busy schedules. Food-away-from home expenditures surpassed food-at-home expendirtures in 2010 and continue to climb.

When choosing a primary grocery store, 67% of shoppers rate convenience from home as a key attribute in their choice, FMI‘s 2019 Power of Foodservice at Retail report found.

Half of consumers say a store must be convenient from work or along their daily commute. The findings are even more pronounced for Gen Z and Millennial shoppers.

Although the need for ease and simplification is high among shoppers, more and more consumers are willing to inconvenience themselves when it comes to foodservice. For example, shoppers report being willing to drive further to visit a store they do not often frequent in order to purchase high-quality foodservice items.

Shoppers are even willing to make their daily commute from work longer in order to visit a store they perceive to have high-quality prepared or somewhat pre-made food items. This suggests that the foodservice department is a key area where food retailers can differentiate themselves.

Although the vast majority of grocery sales still happen in store, many consumers’ grocery trips begin on a mobile device. It’s the first place most shoppers go to start their grocery lists, find out what’s on special, what’s new, etc. Personalization helps consumers cut through the sea of products both online and on the shelves.

Online grocery share will reach between 5% and 10% by 2022 and will fundamentally alter the market, according to CBRE‘s San Diego Retail Big Box Report. However, it will not replace the brick-and-mortar store.

Still, online search remains key because even those who don’t regularly shop online expect their retailers to offer the service. A consumers’ need for online grocery changes depending on their circumstances and they expect to use it when it fits their needs.