To learn more about how grocery shopping habits are evolving during the Covid-19 pandemic, C+R research, a market research agency located in Chicago, recently asked over 2,000 American consumers about their shopping habits both pre and post coronavirus to see what habits and trends have changed in the past two months. In the survey, they asked about everything from diets, shopping experiences, budgeting for groceries and shopping habits, and how they’ve changed during Covid-19. Let’s take a deeper diver directly into the results from the C+R research coronavirus shopping habits report.
C+R research asked consumers about the times of day they are going grocery shopping during the Covid- 19 pandemic. 40% of American consumers are now grocery shopping in the morning. This answer represented the largest amount of responses. 22% of consumers said they were shopping in the afternoon. 17% of consumers shop mid-day. Surprisingly enough, only 17% of grocery shopping is being done in the evening and only 4% is being done at night. This shows that consumers are opting to shop most during the least busy times of the day to try and avoid crowds at the grocery store. This represents a large shift from a majority of consumers shopping after work.
Shopping methods and shopping frequency
The next part of the survey from C+R research asked about shopping methods. They found that 73% of American consumers are making fewer trips to the grocery store since Covid-19. With fewer trips to the grocery store has meant a large shift to grocery delivery for many consumers. They found that grocery delivery has increased 3.5 times since Covid-19 and online/Amazon use has also increased 2.5 times in the same time period.
They also looked at shopping frequency and found that American consumers are making far fewer trips to the grocery store since Covid-19. The average American consumer made 2.3 weekly trips to the grocery store before Covid-19. Since Covid-19 the number of weekly trips to the grocery store has fallen to 1. That is a huge decrease for most consumers in a short period of time.
Some other interesting trends that came to light from the survey is that 88% of consumers say they are unable to find certain items in the grocery store that they usually shop for. Because of this 46% of consumers are now buying groceries in bulk. This is no doubt leading to some of the product shortages in the grocery store. Because of these shortages, 89% of consumers believe grocery stores should place limits on certain items so that everyone has a fair shot and buying what they want.
Shopping budgets and brand loyalty
One obvious trend to emerge from this report is that consumers are upping their weekly spend on groceries. The average weekly grocery spends before Covid-19 was $159. Since Covid-19, the average weekly grocery spends as jumped to $184. Consumers also reported witnessing higher prices while grocery shopping. 50% say they witnessed price gouging while in the grocery store and 48% report paying more for items.
The survey also asked about brand loyalty while grocery shopping during Covid-19. They found that only 24% of consumers are going out of their way to find their favorite brand during Covid-19. This shows that while many people have a favorite brand, during a pandemic they will shop for whatever they can get. 44% of consumers reported that they still compare prices while shopping, however, 52% will simply buy whatever is available to them at the time of purchase.
Changes in shopping and eating habits
C+R research asked about the top change consumers are making in their shopping habits during Covid- 19. Listed below were the top responses:
1. Making fewer trips to the grocery store (73%)
2. Shopping at off-hours (46%)
3. Spending more on groceries (45%)
4. Using grocery delivery services (30%)
5. Increase in restaurant delivery (17%)
6. Making more trips to the grocery store (15%)
7. Spending less on groceries (8%)
47% of consumers also mentioned that along with changing grocery shopping habits, their eating habits have also changed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Listed below are the top changes in consumer eating habits:
1. Eating more processed food (47%)
2. Eating less produce (36%)
3. Eating less meat/poultry (26%)
4. Eating more produce (21%)
5. Eating less processed food (20%)
6. Eating more meat/poultry (14%) 7. Other (2%)
Delivery services and their rise during Covid-19
60% of consumers reported being fearful of shopping at a grocery store and 60% also said they feel a
sense of panic and anxiety when grocery shopping. 35% also said they believe grocery stores are not
doing enough to protect consumers from Coronavirus. Because of this, we’ve seen a large shift away
from shopping in grocery stores and a move for more consumers to have their groceries delivered.
44% of consumers say their use of restaurant meal kits and grocery delivery services has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. 30% say they use popular grocery delivery services such as Instacart. When asked about the most popular grocery delivery services, consumers listed Amazon Fresh as #1, Walmart Delivery as #2, Instacart as #3, and listed others as the 4th most popular choice. Consumers also report a high level of trust from the delivery drivers with 58% saying they feel safe enough in the food handling from delivery drivers. The full report from C+R research on coronavirus shopping habits can be seen in the graphics below.
infographic by: www.crresearch.com